Meet Nik Sharma
I was introduced to Nik Sharma from a family friend during my stay in San Diego. Ever since, it has been a pleasure to get to know him! At such a young age, he understands the market and how to build relationships. If nothing else, he is an inspiration to high school students worldwide. Managing celebrity social media is all Nik Sharma is about. He launched his company Clique Management this year and is going to be ready to hire individuals by summer. Read on to see the progression of his success to working with A-list celebrities!
Background Info: Where you live? How old are you? Favorite activities?
My name is Nik Sharma and I am 17 years old, living in Encinitas, California. Currently, I am senior in high school. Working is probably my most favorite thing to do because I get to work with such cool people. I used to play a lot of tennis, but got busy with the college admission process. Also, I’m a really big social media junkie.
What is an average day like for you?
During the weekdays, it’s simply: get up, and go to school. However, I go to school only 3 days a week. Because I go to a private school, they make their schedule around you. I might have a class in the morning and another class after school. It works out great because I can always schedule meetings in between classes. For example, I would have a class in the morning. Then right after, I would have a lunch meeting, which would be followed by a class again in the afternoon. In addition, I’m done with most of my credits and right now, I am just taking all my electives. Besides school, I will be on the phone quite a bit.
Celebrity Social Media | How did you get started DJing?
When I was 8 years old, we went to Mexico, and I saw a DJ in a Mexican restaurant. Immediately, I thought it was really cool. When I came back, I downloaded some free software to start learning how to do it. After messing around for a while, I bought some software and moved towards buying a controller, getting more advanced through that. It’s been a pretty cool experience. I have deejayed a few weddings, yacht parties, etc.
What made you do celebrity social media marketing? What sparked the social media trend inside of you?
As a kid, I’ve always been interested in getting on social media and being the number one most followed person as well as most influential person. After a while, I figured out different ways to which people can get to that spot within social media. Because school was only 3 days a week, I got bored and decided to start a company. At first, it was my company that was doing social media for small businesses and restaurants to get them some new customers. Then, I made a transition to working with celebrity social media. With celebrity social media accounts, there is a lot more engagement.
How was it working with small businesses and restaurants?
It was fun initially, but got boring very quickly. I got bored with it, because there were so many different restrictions. There are a lot of things that you can’t post on small businesses’ Facebooks that you can post on celebrities’ social media. All in all, it’s more fun to do it with celebrity social media accounts, than it is to with restaurants.
What did you charge the small businesses and restaurants?
It was really cheap, like $300 a month. It will be mostly Facebook and Twitter. A lot of it wouldn’t only be posting stuff, but instead implementing different strategies into their restaurants as well. For example, like increasing their revenue and traffic.
How would you talk to these restaurants when you’re initially trying to get the client?
I would just call them up and tell them that I want to talk to the manager or owner. After that, just go from there.
Celebrity Social Media | Explain how you were hustling in the beginning?
A lot of it was just nights where I barely slept. I was up working late. I would be making connections, so people would know who I am. I was also building my own social media. Interesting fact, but Kid Ink and his whole team followed me on social media and that’s how they got in touch with me.
Celebrity Social Media | What type of artists do you work with?
I am doing some new artists, but mostly ones that have maybe won awards or already established. Currently, I have two new artists.
No, but I am looking to do that this summer. It’s expanding pretty fast. So if you’re interested find me on Facebook!
Celebrity Social Media | How was working with Andaaz Television?
Well, my first client was the television show, Andaaz, which comes on the Sony Southeast Asian Channel. From there, we hosted a Jay Sean Inspiration Award Show, honoring Jay Sean, in Hollywood. At that event, my job was to be in charge of Jay and making sure he’s all good. However, what ended up happening was that one of the hosts of MTV India was having complications and therefore, I was sent upstairs to take care of her. By the end of the night, she really loved the way I took care of her, and recommended me to her manager, who happened to be Anjula Acharia, who’s actually named Billboard’s Power Player of the Year, and is also Priyanka Chopra’s manager. After that happened, Anjula and I met again in San Francisco that weekend. We connected over there. She saw the way that I saw where artist marketing and celebrity social media is going to go. She really liked it and so she connected me with Pitbull’s manager, which was right before I went on vacation to India. When I went to India, I was actually on the phone with Pitbull’s manager discussing different strategies. When I came back to the States, Pitbull had asked me to come to the concert so we could talk. So then, I started working with Pitbull’s social media. What I did with Pitbull was pretty crazy: I was able to get him a million new fans in 7 days. Once they saw what I did there, they hooked me up with Frankie J, Danny Mercer, and some more artists.
Can you share some of the biggest lessons you have learned personally and as a business as things have grown? If you were to start again, what might you do differently?
I would say just never think that you might not make it. Anytime I’ve doubted myself, then I simply didn’t make it. If I were to start again, I would probably enter in the entertainment area much faster. Basically, I would do social media for celebrities, skipping over the whole restaurant scene.
Celebrity Social Media | What next for you? Where do you see the business in say 5 years?
In 5 years, I see it as an artist management company, bringing artists from the East and the West together. My goal is to bring a fusion between different countries and introduce artists to different markets.
For example, Anjula and I did this with Priyanka. We brought her here and she did the song with Pitbull. In case you haven’t heard it, it’s called “Exotic.” This opened up Priyanka to a new market here as well as opened Pitbull up to the market in India.
Celebrity Social Media | Who are the clients you are working with right now?
Right now it’s pretty small, because I am trying to focus individually on a client; that’s when the best results come about. Currently, I am not so focused on how much money I can bring in, but instead how many clients I can make a greater impact on. So I am working with Frankie J, Louis James, Zaid (YouTube star), small group out of Miami called Renaissance, and a Detroit-based artist named No-No who’s a rapper.
I’ve worked with a lot of artists, but have never met them. Like Louis, I only met him once and that was only two months after we started working together. In essence, there are a lot of times, where I’ll work with an artist and might not meet them.
Do you have any favorite business related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?
Celebrity Social Media | Who is that one person that without you’d be nothing?
Anjula Archaria, Priyanka Chopra’s manager. She got my name out to pretty much every big manager.
How do you preserve relationships?
For me, it is following up with people after I meet them. If you’re having an event at your house, you should reach out to them and see if they want to come. For Anjula, I invite her over, wish her on big holidays, and congratulate her if she’s in the news. Treating them like friends is the best way to go. Don’t do something too special because they might get annoyed.
Celebrity Social Media Specialist | How did you transition from restaurants to working with celebrities? How did you get Andaaz Television as a client?
The founder of Andaaz already knew me, so I just pitched it to her that I would run her social media. After two months, they saw 1000% ROI on their social media. So, they kept me and recommended me to Pitbull and that’s how the whole celebrity thing started.
Celebrity Social Media Specialist| What do you do for celebrities?
I’ll handle mostly their Facebook and Twitter. Instead of simply running their social media, I turned into running different campaigns. So let’s say your song is called “Believe,” then we will work with someone who has a show called Believe, or something like Save the Children, because they have the similar message. On Twitter, I make sure they have everything. I’ll make sure they’re receiving publicity on the front page of their Vevo. Leveraging celebrities through working with other channels is basically what I do.
Celebrity Social Media Specialist | What do you charge celebrities?
Depending on what they need, I charge anywhere from $500 to $2500.
I have artist named Louis James, who is doing two singles. Instead of doing a monthly fee, it will be a percentage of all gross profit: profits on the album, shows, promotional deals, sponsorships, everything. However, it depends on the situation. I am doing a lot of campaign/project management for him, that’s why.
Celebrity Social Media Specialist | How do you go about pitching to celebrities?
A lot of it starts on Twitter, either they follow me, or they will tweet one of my artists asking how they can get going for their social media. From there, my name will pop up. After that, it will go straight to the manager. There’s a talk between me and the manager, followed by one with the artist. After a few more calls, the ball gets going.
So recently, I have been talking a lot with Kid Ink’s manager. We’re planning to get him going by the end of March, and get Russell Peters on board as well.
Explain your take on the importance of networking.
Networking is probably the most important thing. I have met the coolest people. I got to where I am by simply networking and connecting with people.
Celebrity Social Media Specialist | Have you ever faced any adversity?
Of course, always. Especially in the entertainment industry. If they don’t really want the celebrity social media marketing and that’s that. Go on to the next one.
Celebrity Social Media Specialist| How supportive has everyone been on your current venture at home?
Pretty supportive. They still really want me to focus on school, but they don’t mind too much.
What major do you plan on taking next year?
Business with emphasis on marketing.
Celebrity Social Media Specialist | What resources did you use or have when first starting out?
When I first started, I used HootSuite and then Sprout Social. I was only paying $20 a month for these services. Because they were my only expenses, all my overheads were really low.