By Kendall Fisher, executive producer
Full transparency: Before Comments by Celebs founders Emma Diamond and Julie Kramer walked into our New York offices for this podcast recording, I was concerned about how they’d connect with our audience.
Diamond is 24 years old, and Kramer is 22. They founded Comments by Celebs, the Instagram-handle-turned-media-company, in college (Emma while obtaining her master’s and Julie as an undergrad). I didn’t know how much insight two people with no startup experience could bring to the table.
And, boy, did they prove it to me! (I wish you could hear the pure pride and joy in my tone when I say that.)
Not only are Diamond and Kramer two of the most knowledgeable people about their business, but they provide a breath of fresh air when it comes to running a company in general, and they do it with a down-to-earth approach filled with absolute gratitude, excitement and a lingering sense of, “We still can’t believe we’re here.”
The two were all smiles while taking us on their three-year journey running the CBC media network, which now includes multiple social media handles, a podcast and a Patreon site via which fans can access exclusive content in exchange for monetary support of the brand. They explain how a passion for pop culture, their close bond and a similar approach to handling business created a sturdy foundation as Comments by Celebs became more and more popular. (Today, the handle has more than 1.5 million followers, with a lot of engagement coming from celebrities themselves.)
The duo’s hands-on approach is definitely one of the biggest factors in their success, and they admit they’re far from giving up creative control. They don’t even run an ad without ensuring it fits seamlessly into their brand, and while they’re now running a lucrative business, content creation remains their No. 1 objective.
"Diamond and Kramer's hands-on approach is definitely one of the biggest factors in their success."
One of my favorite responses from Diamond and Kramer came after a question around the ever-changing nature of social media and what would happen if it disappeared tomorrow. They explained that they’ve diversified the business via the podcast and a following outside of Instagram.
And not only that: As Julie put it, “For us, we depend on [social media], but it’s not the most dependable place. So I think having that knowledge in mind but not panicking about it is really helpful for us.”
That’s more applicable right now than ever before. COVID-19 taught us that anything can change in an instant, but we can't operate in fear. We just have to prepare ourselves for change.
For more business takeaways and to hear the full Comments by Celebs story, tune in to this episode right now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube.