India-Jewel Jackson Digital and Editorial Strategist
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Although she initially wanted fashion, India-Jewel Jackson found a home in beauty. She moved from editorial to branded content and added e-commerce and social media to her skillset. And did I mention, she moved overseas?
India-Jewel Jackson started her career in pure magazine editorial, became an early fan of digital media after landing a role running Glam.com's beauty vertical and later led the creation of Hearst's branded content studio. She has lived and worked in Europe since 2017, having worked at roles in Munich, Berlin, and now Amsterdam.
In this episode, India-Jewel talks about not only the value of internships but having a strong start by choosing the right school. She explains how her choice of an HBCU, Howard University, gave her a great network that allowed her to advance in her career of choice.
We discuss, how an initial interest in fashion, led to a job in beauty for both of us and how her internships (both during college and afterward) created a solid foundation for success. It was a result of a connection at one of those internships that she landed her job at Glam.
I was interning at InStyle and I met a woman named Karen Good. She's really lovely and asked me to do her a favor, which I was able to secure for her. And she asked me, how can I help you? And I said, well, I know that you're freelancing, I would love to freelance a bit more as well. Would you be able to introduce me and open a few doors for me? So she sent out an email. She sent a connection to Glam. And they actually had a beauty role available. And I was just looking to freelance. They saw my CV. They saw that I had interned at Shape, CosmoGirl, Seventeen, and InStyle and whatnot. And they wrote to me and asked if I would be interested in actually interviewing for the role.
India-Jewel worked at Glam.com at a time when her friends and other colleagues didn't see the value in digital. But she saw the opportunity and explains how important it is to be at the forefront of industry change. Once again she saw that in her role in branded content at Hearst.
I think the lesson that I learned or that I instilled, having set up that department and did all the hiring, it was very important for me to bring on people who are able to play the brand and make the advertisers happy, but also make the editors of the magazine happy and also create content that the audience or the readers will want to read and share and tag their friends. It's a three-pronged sort of situation you have to make. All three parties are happy at all times. You have to think about all three. And that it's a skill. Most people will only think of one. They'll think of their readers or they'll think of the brand. And that's what branded content does, it bridges, the gap between those two.
Having grown up with travel in her DNA, it was no surprise that India-Jewel would want to move abroad. She explains the process of job hunting overseas and key things recruiters need to see on a CV that may not be necessary in the United States. She also tells us about the differences in company culture that you might need to keep in mind. For example, in the United States, many companies take the fail fast approach but in Europe failure is taken very seriously. Plus, there are some unexpected expectations in terms of socialization.
In Europe, it's expected that you eat lunch together at the same time. , I was used to taking lunch maybe three or four o'clock. In Europe, they take lunch at 11 AM or 12 PM sharp. They're very serious about it. On the flip side, they're also super serious about quitting time. At 4:59 people are clocking out and wrapping up and putting on their coats and all going down to the pub together.
She talks about the transition to working in social media and how it similar to working in digital media or at a print weekly. India-Jewel offers some sage advice to those studying communication or journalism today. Everybody needs an editor. Companies like Mercedes-Benz, CVS, and your local hospital. She suggests watching the stock market and following investment money to discover which industries will be hiring next.
Find out these things and much by listening to the whole episode above!
Globally-minded and digitally-savvy, India-Jewel Jackson is a consumer-focused editorial strategist slash insight-informed storyteller experienced in producing multi-platform creative content for leading media publishers, luxury e-commerce retailers, and global tech brands. Specializing in custom commercial content, brand building, and large-scale campaign management, she has a deep understanding of how content is consumed across various channels, and how it delivers authentic, impactful value to a brand's intended audience.