Meet Lara: Our CEO, The Modern Day #GIRLBOSS
Back in 2014, Christoph Kastenholz and Lara Daniel sparked the idea of creating a company with a vision of reshaping the advertising arena through influencer marketing. Today, Pulse Advertising & Management have become the leader of this industry, operating a team of 125+ people across 5 offices and recognized as a partner of McKinsey, Instagram, TikTok and Google. We connected with Lara, a Forbes 30under30 leader and a modern-day girl boss, to learn more about her insights into the industry and herself.
Looking back, did you always know that you’ll become an entrepreneur? How did you find the courage and the expertise to find your own company?
I’ve always loved the idea of having my own business and being able to truly shape and create a product and a work environment that I could love.
Starting Pulse did not really take a lot of courage as we had little to lose. Both Chris and I came straight out of University and we only invested € 50 into the company. I think more than anything we had fun doing what we were doing and enjoyed the process of learning while we moved along. You never "find expertise" - you gain it by just doing. No lecture or course in school prepares you for reality.
Why did you decide to focus exclusively on influencer marketing?
We had a fashion label before and with that tried different forms of marketing. Influencer marketing was the only one that actually delivered sales results for us, hence why focus on the others?
What changes do you foresee will occur in the influencer marketing industry over the next 5 years?
The trend we are seeing is that influencer marketing will be even more thoroughly integrated into the overall marketing mix of all brands (ooh, TV, radio) etc.
With increasing budgets, our focus is to continue to bring transparency into the industry and make this very visually pleasing product a numerically proven investment, hence continuously pushing the boundaries of what is possible when it comes to tracking, reporting etc.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your work?
We work globally with 5 offices in 4 countries spanning 3/4ths of the world. I try to equally visit and support every office. For someone who does not particularly like flying that presents quite the challenge in itself… ;)
What excites you most right now?
Seeing the amazing work the team does all over the world and how they drive innovation in all different areas of the business. It is beautiful to witness how people truly get involved and make this company their own.
What advice would you like to give to women who aspire to become an entrepreneur? Are there particular advantages and disadvantages of being a female entrepreneur?
When we started out I would ask every business owner I met what their biggest learning has been. And the one thing I heard over and over again and which I can truly support is: „Just start“ and „Focus. Don’t try to do too many things at the same time“. Being an entrepreneur and having your own business can be hard, it means full responsibility and requires all of your focus and dedication. Hence, love what you do, enjoy every moment, hire people that inspire you, surround yourself with people you can learn from and embrace any challenge because they will be your biggest opportunities to grow. I think independent of being a man or a woman, you need to know your own strength and bring people on board whose strengths are your weakness.
What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Listen to your team’s ideas, learn from their expertise, celebrate them when they excel and support them when things don’t go as planned.
What is your morning routine?
I wish I could say: "Yoga, green tee and meditation", but it is rather "press snooze then answers emails in bed". To my defense I have tried drinking celery juice every morning for the last couple of weeks whenever I am home (thanks @MedicalMedium), but it is a challenge… the taste….
How do you de-stress?
I spend time with my family and friends. Laughing, enjoying the moment and not stressing too much about all of the open points on my to-do list helps to gain energy, focus and tranquillity.
What advice would you give to the 20-year-old Lara?
Trust in yourself and your own ability to find solutions to every problem.