Hi everyone! My name is Janelle Saccucci and I’m so excited to join the YYC Girl Gang community as I just moved to Calgary from Vancouver two weeks ago with my fiancé!

In Vancouver, I was the marketing director for a large coffee franchise and I launched my own biz helping local entrepreneurs elevate their brand by being better marketers. Marketing has always been my jam: networking, online marketing strategy, public relations, media relations and photography as well as blogging and influencer campaigns.

The fear of leaving Vancouver to grow a new community in Calgary scared me. Where do you connect with women entrepreneurs to chat about business success and struggles in Calgary? Who is down to collaborate and help each other build our businesses?

The YYC Girl Gang Hang was the answer to allllll of my questions. One night last week, I was scrolling through Instagram and I came across a YYC Girl Gang Influencer Marketing event happening that evening lead by @sugarandsam. I scrolled through the @yycgirlgang Insta page, and I was both excited and slightly intimidated that this community of girl bosses and local businesses existed in Calgary. I decided to take a chance and buy the ticket for the event (that started in a few hours!) without knowing a single person going.

Every nerve I had walking into the restaurant was relieved 10 seconds after I walked in. Girls smiled and ushered me to sit with them. We were all here for the same reason: to support each other while navigating the world of entrepreneurship. From the gal beside me who created beautiful handmade jewelry (she hadn’t tried influencer marketing before, but was curious to hear more), to the modern abstract artist across from me who shared her success with networking and patience, to the fashion blogger who wanted to become an influencer but didn’t know where to start, I found a community of business-minded women in Calgary that I completely jived with.

When Sam started conversation about influencers, heads were nodding in unity. Finally, someone was sharing honest information about what being an influencer really entails. Sam spoke about how to land brand collaborations (a genuine, well researched pitch) what to realistically expect from an influencer partnership (it’s not just about getting free things), when to ask for payment (think about how much effort this will take you), and if you own a business, the importance of thoroughly researching the influencer before you go through with the collab (just because an influencer has a lot of followers doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your business).

After the talk, we were all eager to hear from each other’s experiences with influencer marketing. I ended up in so many insightful conversations that I was the last guest to leave the event (which is crazy when you think that a few hours before I didn’t know anyone!). I am so excited and thankful for this amazing community of women in Calgary, and I cannot wait to build connections in this beautiful city.

If you’re in the same position I was, or if you don’t know anyone to go with, I can’t urge you enough to give it a go anyway, and I’d love to connect with you as well! I’ll be at the next event, so please reach out if you’d like to connect, collab or chat about marketing your business!! Can’t wait to meet you!

Janelle recently moved to Calgary from Vancouver, where she grew her career and education in marketing. She worked as the marketing director for a large coffee chain, and coached small businesses with their marketing. Her pricey accolades include a degree in communications and a public relations diploma. In Calgary you can find her scouting the next best spot to shoot photos and working in cafes, sipping a coconut milk Americano. You can find out more on herwebsite and on Instagram at @janellesaccucci.

Post photos by Logee Photo.

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