#NotableYoungPros: CEO at Hashtag Communications

Working in the entertainment industry for over ten years, Rachel David is a former broadcaster turned YouTube personality turned entrepreneur.

Through combining her network of celebrities, brands, managers and influencers, Rachel is merging the digital and mainstream media worlds by creating authentic brand campaigns connecting top-tier digital influencers with big mainstream brands. Rachel realized that many of these brands WANTED to know the best way to work with and utilize these digital content creators, but did not know HOW to go about it. As a result of her many years in broadcasting and her corporate prowess, as well as her position of trust and respect that she has earned from these influencers, Rachel was in a unique place to assist brands in every step of the process to find a scenario that best benefits everyone.

And so, Hashtag Communications was born. A modern-day PR company, it started specifically as an influencer marketing company before growing into a full-blown creative agency. We sat down with Rachel to learn more about how she’s making connections and proving ROI in the digital age.  

How did you get started with Hashtag Communications? Why did you have the idea to start it and what led you to here?
The reason I started my own business was that I got let go from my job, funnily enough. I was in broadcasting for ten years, and I always worked around celebrities and was on camera. I wanted specific creative control, and I knew YouTube could give me that, so I took a year off and made videos. I attracted a lot of the community around me at a time when there wasn’t a lot of people working with influencers. I would plan dinners to discuss what people were charging and encourage them to talk. Very quickly it got me to this space, in influencer marketing, where agencies were contacting me asking how I knew certain people and how they could attach them and what to even do with these people. It was a very natural thing. People often ask, ‘how do you start a business?’ and I say that it’s kind of like falling in love. You can’t plan for it, it just sort of happens, and that is what happened.

The best piece of advice that I have received is:
Carve your own path. It wasn’t one particular person that told me that, but it is something that I truly believe. When you are young, some jobs are out there, but sometimes there are gems and things that you are supposed to do that haven’t been created but are right and ready for you to create.

Someone I look up to is:
My grandmother. She taught me how to manage my cash flow and how to invest when I started my business. She was the first woman in England to get a mortgage without a male guarantor. She has instilled a lot of financial wisdom into me. She is such a boss lady.  

My favourite Instagram account to follow right now is:
This is super random, but my favourite Instagram account to follow right now is Mr. Pokee. Once you open the account, you will see why I like it. It’s just a little hedgehog that goes all over the world and it is so cute! It’s like here’s the Eiffel Tower and here’s a hedgehog and the hedgehog is smiling! You’re like, “How is this real? This is amazing.”  *

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is:
Check my phone. I know I’m not supposed to, and I know a lot of people say it’s not the right thing to do. The thing is, I am actually excited to do it. Because I love what I do, it’s an exciting thing for me to go, “Oh, what’s going to happen today?”

What type of Notable are you? Are you a creator, an entrepreneur, or a professional?
I am a trifecta Notable. I do a weekly podcast and YouTube video, so that makes me a Notable creator because I have to shoot and edit them. I am a Notable entrepreneur because I run a business. I am a Notable professional because I have to be professional, and sometimes I have to wear a dress shirt. So, I would say, all of the above.

What do you want to be known for?
I want to be known for helping a lot of women. One of my biggest passions is seeing women come into their own and feel empowered for something that their minds gave them. Not their looks or sensuality, but for a skill that they have. And also being able to hone in on those skills and feel strong and powerful with their two feet on the ground, and feel resilient. I have a wonderful small staff right now of all women, and I hope to encourage a lot of female entrepreneurship in the future.  

What does ambition mean to you?
Perseverance and not giving up, when you have that thing inside of you, even if you tried to stop it you probably couldn’t, just because you’re so ambitious and want it so badly. It’s an extreme form of perseverance.  

Looking back, are there moments that stand out in your life as defining moments?
There are so many defining moments in my life. One was definitely the week that I was let go from my job and broken up with. It was very unsettling because it came out of the blue. I always say to any young person that I meet: If something is happening in your life that is knocking you off your socks for no reason – you’re a good person, you did everything right –  it is because the universe is pushing you in the direction that you are supposed to go. You have to embrace it and go with it.

What’s the next challenge or project you’re tackling?
It comes in twofold. I’m starting to get equity in companies to brand and build them. That’s a whole different challenge regarding building brands from scratch. The second challenge is learning how to work with different continents, we’re expanding to the Asian market, and it’s a whole different ball game. I’m taking phone calls at 1 am and acting like its normal! That is a brand new challenge that I am learning how to navigate.  

Head to Hashtag Communication’s website to check out everything they’re up to.