Power publicist YesJulz lives her life on Snapchat, sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of cool parties and time with clients like Gucci Mane. “My Snapchat followers are like my family,” Julz Goddard says. “They’ve seen me at meetings with a record label and going on roller coasters. They’ve seen everything.” Goddard spoke with Fast Company about the kind of content she produces and how Snapchat can save the world—or destroy it.
How did you get started on Snapchat?
I have an agency, and at the beginning of my creation of the business I decided I would document my steps. I didn’t know exactly how I wanted to do that. I wasn’t a Youtuber; at first I started taking videos but I wasn’t good with editing and keeping up with it and posting all the time. It was too much work, and I was on the go all the time. I eventually found out about Snapchat, like four years ago. My little sisters were playing with this app and saying it was so fun. I was like, what is that? And they were like, “Oh, it’s Snapchat.”
I immediately thought, it’s that app to send naughty pictures, and I disregarded it. And then I started playing with it. At the time I was talking to different networks about a reality show and I was negotiating and in contracts, but I wasn’t really excited about other people having creative control over my content and my image. Nothing felt right. Then I was like, wow, this Snapchat is incredible. Everyone in the world can have their very own television network.
So I started doing documentary-style snapping, waking up in the morning and time stamping when I woke up. I would be up at 7 a.m., in the gym by 8 and then doing meetings and documenting walkthroughs and soundchecks with artists and really just using it as a promotional tool to push all of my clients. It was just a living, breathing, walking promotional tool for me, at least in the beginning. Say Keurig was one of my clients. In the morning I would make coffee, play a Travis Scott song because that was the record I was pushing at the time, and put the coffee inside my Never Not Working mug that I just put for sale on my website. I would be Snapchatting that and that would be the first 10 seconds of my snap for the day. I killed four birds with one stone, it was amazing. And then next thing you know I’m wearing my Beats by Dre headphones on a bicycle riding it across the bridge to the gym. So for me it was like a cool way to let my friends and family know what I was up to, why I quit my job, and how I was building this brand, using Snapchat as a tool to cross promote.
What kinds of content do best on Snapchat for you?
I used to do backstage moments. My followers were like my family. They’ve seen me at meetings with a record label, on roller coasters. They’ve seen everything. And you’d think it would be like the celebrity moments or behind the scenes that would get the most interaction, but what I found is that it’s weird moments, like being home with my niece at Thanksgiving or hanging out with my mom and looking at old photos. I guess what I can take from that is that people like those moments where they feel like they can really relate. They like the more personal moments. I’ve had moments where at the end of the day I’d sit back and talk about my day, and that’s when I get the most messages and interactions.
What do you love most about the platform?
It’s a great way for me to communicate with people all over the world and give them a look into what I’m doing. It’s cool to look at what other people are doing. It’s a great unbiased opinion on news. Like when you turn on the television, you’re looking at people’s lives through a filter. People are putting that segment together on Fox or CNN or whatever. I’ve noticed more recently. with everything that’s going on. it’s been a cool window into all kinds of political matters that is unfiltered. It’s a first-person point of view. I think we’ll see more of that, and it’s going to be groundbreaking.
How do you think Snapchat encourages creativity and community?
To be honest, I think it depends. You can use it as a tool, or it can become your own worst enemy. If it’s just taking up your time and it’s making you more antisocial. . . I get a little scared sometimes if the generations coming after us are going to know how to interact with one another. They get so used to just doing it through this app. For me it gets scary. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, just hosting a party or festival or concert and nobody is actually looking through their eyeballs. They’re Periscoping or Snapchatting or Instagram live-ing.
People refer to me as the Snapchat queen—I’m synonymous with Snapchat. But the other day I stopped a concert and I said, guys I know I’m known for my Snapchat but I give you 10 to 20 seconds of what I’m doing and then I enjoy the moment. I love that you guys are sharing this and I want you to share it, obviously. I want everybody to know this is the best party ever. But on this next song, I need you to enjoy the moment. It was such a great moment. Everyone put their phones down and wilded out on the next song. It’s a nice reminder to be present and be in the moment. Get creative and use it as a tool but don’t abuse it.
This article is part of our coverage of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2017.