Redheads only make up 2% of the world’s population. And the recessive gene jackpot of a redhead with blue eyes is even smaller, at 0.17%. So what would you call someone with red hair, blue eyes, and a hilarious heart of gold? You might call her a Unicorn, but we call her Jenn Todryk – with two N’s.
What started out as me needing to find a new bed frame, turned into a dedicated followership of all things Jenn. Yes, I bought the robe. The Gimme hair ties. The phone stand. Yes, I’m taking Care/Of vitamins and even tried out a new mascara (Tarte Maneater – you’ll never go back). Verb bars? Just texted my reorder today.
I have been influenced time and time again by the redhead who rambles, which led me to wondering what makes Jenn with 2 N’s different from all of the “influencers” out there?
That’s what I want to talk about with you all today.
Who is Jennifer Todryk?
First, you need to know a little bit about Jennifer Todryk. While I would love to say that I had a 1:1 sitdown with HGTV’s next big star for an exclusive interview….I can’t. Because that didn’t happen and people frown upon bloggers making things up.
So instead, here is what I know:
- Jenn spells her name with two N’s and hates it when people get it wrong (but she also won’t correct you because she is too nice).
- She has a Bachelor’s in Fashion Merchandising, which personally I think has helped cultivate her eye for home styling.
- After having her first child, Jenn became a Stay At Home Mom and began blogging as a hobby (and *I think* also as a way to keep the families up to date on life and home renovations).
- Her blog post “Top 6 Wines That Pair Best With Your Child’s Crappy Behavior. Epic News for Parents” went viral and ended up landing her a book deal.
- Jenn’s social media accounts initially started out as home decor focused, but over the last 2 years it has morphed into a hilarious hodgepodge of day-in-the-life experiences. We get a mix of Amazon & QVC sales; product reviews our adulting selves want; home renovation and decor tips; beauty tutorials; and the greatest inside jokes us 716,000 Instagram followers love (when you watch No Demo Reno – look at her hands and see how rarely all ten fingers have stick-on nail polish).
- Her new puppy Gary is the cutest thing I have ever seen. And that is a fact.
What is influencer marketing?
Ok, now that you know a little bit about Jenn, let’s talk about what her social media job is: Influencer Marketing.
Simply put, Influencers are people on social media platforms who help companies sell products. Gone are the days of “if you build it they will come” as brick-and-mortar stores are swiftly shuttering and businesses move online. But since many stores are solely online, and more people are trading in cable for commercial-free experiences (23% of households since 2014), more companies are turning to social media influencers to spread the word.
Influencer marketing has also become so successful largely due to the transparency social media allows celebrities to tap into, especially in regards to what they use and support. (Name/brand recognition, social elements, followers, etc.) Gone is the polished sheen of commercials as we see our favorite celebrities or social media influencers go from bare-faced and under-caffeinated to ready for the runway with perfectly contoured faces and hair with volume to spare.
I say “as we see our favorite celebrities or social media influencers” because anyone can be an influencer if they’ve got the time, patience, and willingness to put their entire life online. The shift from celebrity sponsors to the regular-person-influencers can be tied back to “mommy bloggers” gaining a substantial following.
Since then, influencers have become a staple of modern-day digital marketing. Companies are leveraging social media influencers to sell products to their engaged communities similarly to how a friend might recommend a fun new find. Bottom line is: companies are going to where the customers spend their time – and monetizing it.
Influencers who can stand out from the ever-growing influencer industry are the ones who cultivate a community, include followers in the conversations, and keep content relevant and honest. Remember that followers are becoming savvier at spotting a wannabe, so if you are looking to become (or hire) an influencer, try to not be an obvious salesperson.
Why would someone become an influencer?
Becoming a successful influencer requires more than the average 9-5 hours of a desk job. The really good influencers spend the majority of their day on stories, testing out new products or engaging with their community. Then there is the time behind the scenes looking for sales, writing blog posts, setting up product photography, or lining up sponsored ads. So if influencing is an around-the-clock job, why would anyone want to do it?
I’m sure there are lots of reasons, but what I perceive to be the top 3 are money, career opportunities, and a genuine love of it as a hobby.
Reason 1: It’s all about the Benjamins.
Let’s go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room: Money.
Influencers have several options of earning an income, including monetizing their blog, or by partnering with companies for sponsored content (posts, stories, promo codes, and/or affiliate links).
Along with receiving an income, influencers are also provided free products/services in order to market the product (many companies send samples as a way of asking). I’ve even seen some influencers that have dedicated shelving for all the free products they receive in the mail that are either sent back or donated to charity.
Before I paint too rosy of a picture, keep in mind that being a successful influencer is a ton of work. They log far more hours than a traditional job, share nearly every aspect of their life with thousands of people, and spend many “shopping holidays” working looking for the best deals to share. They also write blog posts, stage photographs, and engage with their communities. So it makes sense that influencer marketing is now considered a job. Being an influencer really is just like every self-employed job – it can be really great if you put in the work but it can also have its drawbacks.
Reason 2: Visibility creates career opportunities.
Let’s take a look at another type of perk. Like I mentioned when we defined influencer marketing, anyone can be an influencer. So if a No-Name-Plain-Jane decides to get into the influencer marketing biz, and work their tail off, all sorts of doors can open up for them. Remember: Jenn got her start just from hobby blogging to remain sane while being a stay-at-home mother. I don’t think she could have ever dreamed her internet rambles would turn into the goldmine it is today.
I started following Jenn around June 2019. Since then, I have watched her grow her account by almost 200k followers, become blue check verified, and be flown out to California by Lego to be an interviewer at the Frozen 2 Premier. I’ve also watched her buy a coffee shop, have part time help become a full time staple, and be courted by TV companies for her own TV show. All of that in not even 2 years. And that isn’t even touching magazine features.
It has been so refreshing to watch someone work so hard for something with an open heart, and to have so many opportunities present themselves.
Some other examples:
- Dani Austin started as a presence on Instagram and YouTube, and has since grown to having more than 1 million followers and collaborated with big time Fortune 100 brands (Olay, Southwest Airlines, Ebay, Nordstrom).
- Natasha Polis: over the course of 9 years has gone from high school student to small content developer to a sought after social media influencer (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube), to talent manager Amaryllis Apparel and brand ambassador of other clothing brands.
- Angela Rose: the Queen of “Stop Pinning and Start Doing”. What started as self-soothing projects has turned into an Instagram Empowerment journey with nearing 1 million followers. Angela has her own clothing line as well as features in Dwell Magazine Top 10 Home Reno Accounts, Apartment Therapy Top Room Reno, Today.com, Real Simple, and Wayfair.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea 😉 With a little bit of luck, and a whole lot of hard work, the world can be a social media influencer’s oyster if they want.
Reason 3: They genuinely enjoy it as a hobby.
I’ve included Hobby last because this is actually how influencers typically get started and not necessarily why they continue. This is a common theme amongst many influencers across the social media platforms. Some start a Facebook Mom Page, others blog/vlog for fun, and then there are the artistic accounts who find Photoshop relaxing. Then something happens and that is when the hobby can become a more lucrative way to spend the day.
By this point in the article, I have mentioned several times that Jenn started her journey to stardom by hobby blogging. What is great about Jenn, is that while she looks at Influencing as a job she says it is still as fun as a hobby.
With Jenn’s success and upcoming HGTV show No Demo Reno, her inbox has been flooded by DM’s asking if she is going to step away from the influencer space. And don’t worry everyone – she isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Jenn says that while what she does is a job, it also brings her joy and will continue showing up every day as long as it stays fun.
The honesty in her answer has always stuck with me, and is one of the top reasons why I think Jenn with Two N’s is so good at what she does.
5 Ways the Rambling Redhead Nails Influencer Marketing
We are halfway through the article and you now know a little bit about Jenn and a little bit about what influencer marketing is. Let’s put the two together and finally see how our favorite rambling redhead is taking over the internet. Here are 5 specific reasons why I think Jenn is a great study in influencer marketing done well.
1. Honesty is the Best Policy
First and foremost, Jenn is honest and relatable. Sometimes, a little too honest. We’ve seen her sit in a sauna pod while hosting an Instagram live with her doctor (highly recommend if you are interested in learning about Hashimotos). Her “trick” to long hair is never cutting it. Jenn can skillfully contour her face into looking like she has a flawless nose and sky-high cheekbones, but on the flip side we’ve also seen her show up in stories with pimple patches and a tower of unkempt hair. You know those friends you can invite over and not feel the need to clean your house or even change out of your PJs because there is a 93% chance they are still in their PJs too? Well, that’s Jenn in a nutshell.
So consider this: if your PJ-wearing best friend tells you about the greatest new loungewear set or an makeup pallet that will make your eyes pop, aren’t you going to be a little more likely to give it a try than if it was a commercial recommendation?
2. She’s Got Your Back
Jenn researches and heavily tests products before recommending them to her followers.
We know that influencers are sent products and promo codes in the hopes that it will be shared. Rather than share every item she receives in the hopes of making money, Jenn instead will test a product for over a month before deciding if it deserves her stamp of approval. And in classic Jenn fashion, she will do it with comedic flair. Check out her Instagram Highlights “Testing Setting Spray” for when she tested out Urban Decay’s All Nighter makeup setting spray. Let’s just say that we all know that it is “Earth, Water, and Wind” Proof.
Jenn has spoken pretty passionately about always wanting to make sure that the products she recommends are products that she herself would be willing to spend money on or something that she would feel comfortable recommending her mother in law to buy.
Considering how easy it could be for Jenn to make money, the fact that she only shares and promotes products that she believes in makes her word much more reputable and ties in with her core value of honesty. Fortunately, there are other social media influencers who have similar values, but there is something about Jenn that goes just a step further.
Perhaps it is the fact that if she makes a mistake, she owns up to it. One time she recommended a certain straightener that she was sent and given an exclusive code. Jenn tried it out a few times and was impressed, and went ahead and shared it. A few weeks later, however, her feelings changed on the product after she really started to use it more frequently. Rather than just leave it alone, Jenn worked out a special return policy with the company specifically for anyone who purchased the product through her swipe up link/code. Now that is a friend having your back. Just like your best friend not posting that photo of you shoveling popcorn into your mouth by the handful.
3. She gives the people what they want
A key part to growing your social media presence is to keep your followers in mind. What does your audience like, what do they want, in what stage of life are they. Jenn does this from what products she shares to how she organizes her shopping links.
Generally speaking, Jenn does not share “boujee” products. Instead, 95% of the time she is sharing affordable products from known stores. Her clothing hauls are primarily Amazon and Old Navy, with the “expensive” option of American Eagle thrown in. When it comes to makeup, Jenn does go above drug store makeup, but she always looks for the best bang for your buck option and won’t even talk about a product if it is currently full priced.
And then there is skincare. We all know our favorite Rambling Redhead is a Tatcha girl through and through. We also know that Tatcha is expensive because Jenn always spends about 2-3 slides talking about how it is her only expensive body product and she is self-conscious sharing it (see more in Sales, Codes, and Actual Deals). But what Jenn will do is ask her followers to give recommendations and then she shares those. Or she will share other skincare hacks (chilled jade rollers for the win) that are more pocket-friendly in price.
Now let’s talk organization and how it relates to giving the people what they want. And no, I’m not just talking about the awesome organizational drawers she uses in her bathroom and kitchen; I’m talking shopping links. And how Jenn does NOT use the LIKEtoKNOW.it app. Instead, she uses her Shop the Blog (fun fact: she ranks first in Google for that search term) or her Amazon Storefront.
What is the LIKEtoKNOW.it app? This is an influencer preferred method to house shopping links as it integrates with an influencer’s Instagram feed. Not dissing the app, as I know a lot of people love it. But Jenn frequently checks in with her followers to see if they still prefer direct links or the app and they want direct links. It is harder on Jenn’s side to do direct swipe-up links, but she does it because she knows it is easier for the consumer.
Jenn is applying what many companies need to do and that is truly putting the customer first. What makes it easier for a customer to make a purchasing decision? This leads me to my next point:
4. Sales, Codes, and actual deals
One reason why I have made as many purchasing decisions from Jenn versus any other influencer is that she understands the value of the dollar. I’ll see other influencers say “these sneakers are on major sale!!” and I’ll think “ok great, I need some new shoes” so I swipe up. Yea, the sale price is still nearing the $400 price range. That might be great for some people, but I’m a 31-year-old newlywed who is deciding if the 20% upcharge on grocery delivery is worth it.
If Jenn goes to show off her new Dyson V11 Turbo vacuum cleaner (you can bet your bottom dollar that’s on our registry) – she will admit that it is a $700 device and will then share her other vacuum cleaners that also work really well and are much more affordable. And in case you are wondering, yes, I did buy the $40 rechargeable one for my husband. If Jenn’s 6-year-old son can use it without breaking it, then hopefully my husband won’t break it either.
So this brings me back to the title of this section: Sales, Codes, and Other Deals. Jenn definitely has a lot of sales codes that she shares with her followers but instead of sharing a little 10% off dinky code, she will work with companies to try and get at least 20% off. So while you might find fewer codes with Jenn, they are usually a higher discount and for a product you know is going to meet the Jenn-Golden-Standard (ok, I made that title up, but it sounds good don’t you think?)
5. She does it because it’s fun.
This one is plain and simple, but also the most impactful. You know how you can tell if someone hates their job just by looking at their resting face? Or the tone used in how they answer the phone? Every day when Jenn hops on her stories, she starts the day with her practically trademarked “Good Morning Good Morning!” in the most cheeriest voice with the biggest smile on her face. Even when she is exhausted or having a heck of a day, she always greets everyone with a happy or funny attitude. And that’s because Jenn. Loves. Her. Job. And she continues to say that the day she stops doing what she is doing is the day that it stops being fun. And that right there, my friends, is a beautiful thing.
That’s All, Folks!
So there you have it. Jennifer Todryk. The Rambling Redhead. The Redheaded Goldilocks of Instagram. The Unicorn Influencer Marketer to follow. Whether you want to laugh until milk comes out your nose, or if you want to learn how to best grow your own following, Jenn is the way to go.
If you read this article because you love The Rambling Redhead, then I hope you tune in this week for Jenn’s long anticipated show No Demo Reno!
If you read this article for marketing learnings, then know this: Focus on the customer. Be someone that puts the customer first in just about every single way. What people want to see, how people want to access information, and why people should believe or want the product. Be honest, relatable, do your research, give the people what they want, and toss in a promo while you’re at it. But above all else, be real with your customers.
December 2021 Update: A Rambling Redhead KEEPS Taking Over the Internet
It hasn’t even been a year since I wrote the original post and I already have updates for you. A lot has happened since March 22 for Jenn.
Jenn’s continued to follow all the principles I described above about putting her followers first, being honest, relatable, and so on.
And, as you’re about to see, it’s working really well!
So what has been going on in Jenn’s life in the past 9 months? She and her husband welcomed a new baby into their lives!!!
Well, sort of ? She played the same joke on us so I’m playing it on you. In reality…
Jenn and Mike have opened a brewery
The coffee shop they purchased right before the pandemic has been so successful that they are going to open an Armor Brewery.
This is so in line with the Todyrks’ way of life (as far as they let us see of course) as the new investment is personally interesting to them (ahem, Mike), everything is local (big on supporting their local economy), and the renovations might even line up perfectly with filming for…
No Demo Reno was renewed by HGTV for Season 2
Yes, our favorite redhead who rambles was signed on for a second season of No Demo Reno with HGTV. As I am typing this update (December 20th), Jenn has been sharing the “scouting” process with her 1 MILLION FOLLOWERS.
Jenn Broke the 1 Million Follower Mark
It was easy to miss because Jenn had a more offline celebration (which was I think a neat and refreshing spin on the usual reaction influencers have).
As you read above, one of the many elements that makes Jenn so special is that she treats her community as just that – a community of people and friends. Wouldn’t it be weird if your friend came up to you and started bragging about how many friends they have? I would find it weird. So the fact that Jenn didn’t make a huge deal of it online (she did have a well-deserved party with her friends and family) fits with her brand of treating her followers like friends.
How Jenn’s approach to social media worked from March to December 2021
To recap, in the 9-10 months since writing this post, Jenn has:
- Increased her following by over 300,000 followers
- Started expanding her family’s coffee shop to include an online merch store AND an entire brewery
- Signed on for a second season of HGTV’s No Demo Reno after an overwhelmingly successful first season
How did she do all of this in just nine months? Here are my thoughts:
- She continues to listen to feedback: Not only does Jenn take feedback for what to post, but she’s even taken feedback on the first season of No Demo Reno and passed it along to the HGTV execs. And yes, they are implementing some requested tweaks.
- She keeps a work-life balance: As stated previously, it is pretty tough for an influencer to have a work-life balance. But Jenn does regularly keep Sundays clear as it is an important day to her family’s values. It also is her prioritizing non-monetary values and letting her followers feel like friends rather than an income.
- She gives the people what they want: Flashback Friday is still a thing! Every Thursday, people submit requested links or old videos that Jenn sprinkles throughout the day on Friday. Many influencers do something similar, but it is almost always related to shopping links. I haven’t seen any other influencers ask if we want to see a funny video from years ago. (Always ask for Pregnant Jenn, it’s hysterical).
- She keeps it weird and wacky even after breaking the 1M follower mark: All you need to do to get Jenn in a nutshell is watch this clip. You’re welcome.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the next nine months bring to Jenn with two N’s. Hopefully, we can all keep learning from her own brand of special.