When Hollywood A-listers, musicians and public figures need a social media and branding strategist, they turn to today’s FACE of Memphis, Whitney Luckett, the founder of Luckett Media. Whitney and her team of social media experts have worked with such notable names as Richard Simmons and Mariah Carey, and her client list has a combined social media reach of 47,725,639 followers across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We’re thinking that by the time you read this, that number will have topped 48 million!
Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Whitney moved to Memphis at age 5, attended Rollins College and earned her MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins. She’s the daughter of two notable Mid-Southerners — Kay Farese Turner, a Memphis attorney, and Bill Luckett, attorney, entrepreneur and the current Mayor of Clarksdale, Miss. She has two brothers, Oliver Luckett and Park Dodge, as well as five stepsisters and two stepbrothers. “I always joke and say that my family is a bush rather than a tree,” she says. Whitney and her husband, Scott Trimble, who married in April 2010, live in Memphis, and today we’re excited to welcome Whitney as our FACE of Memphis!
Luckett Media has a presence in Memphis, Nashville, New York and L.A., correct?
Yes. My clients are always on the road, so my team and I meet them where they are, be it Beverly Boulevard or Tribeca.
You’re a Clarksdale native but you moved to Memphis at an early age. Do you consider yourself a Tennessean or a Mississippian?
I consider myself 50/50! Both of my parents grew up in Mississippi, and I was born there, but I’ve lived in Tennessee, both in Nashville and Memphis, for the majority of my life.
Tell us about your super pug! She’s the face of your company.
Boots, my rescue pug, is one bossy lady, but I love her to pieces. She holds the leash in our house. (Follow Luckett Media on Instagram to meet Boots!)
Describe your early career. Where did you work, and what were your jobs before launching Luckett Media?
After grad school, I moved to Nashville, where I ultimately owned and operated a boutique clothing store. I moved to Los Angeles in 2008 after I decided to make the switch from retail to digital marketing. I worked for DigiSynd, a Disney company, in client services, handling blogger outreach, social strategy and editorial concepts. I also worked with Doozy Cards and other small businesses in LA as a social media consultant.
I moved to Fairhope, Ala., after my wedding. My friends like to tease me that I moved from LA to L.A., Los Angeles to Lower Alabama, and they couldn’t be more different. I worked remotely for two years as the manager of content quality and editorial operations for a California-based online networking provider.
Next, I joined my father’s gubernatorial campaign as the Director of Communications and New Media, and I spent nine months bouncing from Clarksdale to Fairhope.
When did you decide to go out on your own with Luckett Media?
My brother, Oliver Luckett, is a serial entrepreneur and formed a company in LA call theAudience, which was shifting its business model from individuals to brands. Oliver asked if I would want to take some of its clients … Ummm yes, of course, I did! So in January 2014, we moved back to Memphis, and I officially launched Luckett Media with a focus on celebrities, musicians, brands and public figures.
Your firm provides social media strategy and publishing for some serious A-listers. (And we aren’t dishing on who those folks are!) What’s the most challenging thing about working with people who have massive social media followings?
Many of my clients are unfortunately targets for a lot of spam and negative comments. They also have, in some cases, large teams made up of managers, agents, PR professionals, venue operators and promoters. Getting so many voices on the same page can be difficult! But at the same time it’s really exciting work. And it’s nice that many of my clients already have a large fan base.
A few tips I give my clients: Turn direct messaging off; don’t look at comments; stay on brand; content is king and authenticity is key. Nobody likes a used car salesman on Facebook!
If you could give readers one piece of advice about their social media use, what would it be?
Don’t post after 9 p.m. Don’t post after a bottle of wine. And don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your mother or employer to read.
In all seriousness, you don’t need to be on every single platform. Grasp a handle on what I call the main three – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – before venturing to others.
What are your hobbies, and how do you unwind?
I like to garden, play tennis and backgammon, travel and I unwind by putting my phone on silent.
Where’s the first place you take an out-of-towner when they come to visit you in Memphis?
Any of Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman’s restaurants on Brookhaven Circle for dinner.
What’s your favorite Memphis (or Delta) attraction, and why?
Ground Zero Blues Club and a drive through Burke’s Hunting Club in Clarksdale, because I love shocking my out-of-town guests with blues, the Delta and the river.
Finish this sentence: If I had a superpower, it would be…
… to make everyone tell the truth.
What one word describes you?
What inspires you?
Reading business books, biographies and being around art.
What’s your best piece of advice for others?
Fail fast gracefully.
What are three lighthearted things you can’t live without excluding faith, family and friends?
Wifi, La Croix and Rosebud Salve.
Thanks to Micki Martin for her fab photos of Whitney!
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