Cyrene Quiamco CyreneQ The Snapchat Influencer Interview You Need To Hear

Cyrene Snapchat Influencer Interviewed By Brand Strategist Darrell Stern

by Cyrene | Snapchat Interviews

Darrell Stern:     I’m Darrell Stern. I’m the CEO of Stern Inbound Marketing, and the creator of Sternstorming, which is a very unique way to market your business through the benefits of what you do, and not the features. I’m here with one of the top Snapchat gurus — artist— on earth. Why don’t you introduce yourself to everybody?


Cyrene:               Hey, my name is Cyrene. That’s CyreneQ on Snapchat. I’m an interactive Snapchat creator. I do games and all sorts of fun stuff, like drawing, the tutorials, the mini-scripted shows on Snapchat, and I just have fun with it. I’ve turned that into my career.


I used to be a graphic designer and a Web designer, and now I’m a full-time Snapchatter. I’ve got and converted my artistic skills, and found a new audience to watch it on Snapchat.


Darrell:                So, as this started to happen, and all of a sudden — boom — it started to explode, and famous people and big brands and all this were starting to come to you and ask you about — what that a little scary? Kind of like, “Oh, what do I do? Are they going to tell me how much they’re paying me?” How did you handle that? Did you have a support system — your parents, or other businesspeople, or anybody helping you with that?


You know what I’m getting at, right? How did you handle that experience of all of a sudden, people are asking you to help them with things?


Cyrene:               It just kind of grew. Snapchat was originally just my hobby. I would just draw on it, and then agency contact me and said, “Hey, we love your drawings. We’ve been following you for awhile.” The brands usually give me a budget, and then I let them know what type of I can do based on the budget.


My first gig wasn’t that much, but then I was one of the first people — I mean, there weren’t very many of us in the beginning — who was doing Snapchat branded work, and so once I put in my first branded Snapchat work, other brands caught on.


They saw my work, they loved it. They contacted me and say, “Hey, we want to do something like this also on Snapchat, which is a booming platform.”


Then it kind of went from there. I’ve been paid, you know, up to $30,000 for a Snapchat campaign, and it’s been amazing.


Darrell:                Wow. As you’re doing this, though — when you get either these little opportunities or these big opportunities, because you’re just you, on your own — what I love about you is, you have stayed faithful to your fun and your talent, and the way that you are, which I think is very important for people to know. You don’t, you know, change with what these other people are asking you to do. They are buying the way you do it.


In other words, you have to stay — you know what I’m saying — true to what you do. Have you ever said “no” to someone? Has someone ever come to you and said, “We want you to do this,” and you’re like, “That’s totally not — my audience won’t understand that. It’s not what I do?”


Cyrene:               Yes. There’s been a lot of brands that just don’t fit with my personality, or brands that I don’t believe in, and I don’t support their cause, and/or it just doesn’t align with what I’m doing. Some of them are really high dollars.


I think saying “no” to those brands actually strengthens your relationship with your Snapchat viewers. You’re not just shilling to them. You want them to trust you. Its supposed to be… I’m not doing that, because saying “no” to one brand is a lot…what do you say…if you say “no” to a brand, I think…


Darrell:                You’re establishing your own.


Cyrene:               Yeah.


Darrell:                You’re establishing your own brand.


Cyrene:               Yeah.


Darrell:                You know I mean…you are, now, an enterprise.


Cyrene:               Yeah.


Darrell:                Right. Mm-hmm.


Cyrene:               Mm-hmm. Yeah, and it’s just more true, and I think there’s more benefit to it in the later run, because you’re going to lose audience. They’re not going to trust you, and you’re not going to be motivated to put your all in it, because you don’t believe in it, and people are going to see that, and it’s just not going to make good content.


Darrell:                Now I’m going to go to a deeper level. Now, people — your audience — they are expecting this new content. They are going to  — I mean, if you don’t show up…let’s say you disappeared from Snapchat for a week or two.  I’m sure alarms will go off. “Are you alright?”


So, how does that do it? Is there ever a day when you’re just like, “You know what? I’m sick. I’m tired today. Maybe I want to do something else, like spend time with my family,” — I don’t know. You know what I’m saying — like, go out and do something else.


How does that feel? Are there some times when you say, “You know what? I’m going to take time for me, and this can wait?”


Cyrene:               My audience knows that Snapchat is just integrated into my life. Snapchat doesn’t seem like a job. That’s why I left my corporate, normal job, so I could do Snapchat full-time, so it doesn’t feel like a job. I don’t feel obligated to produce content of that.


The content that I produce is something that I would be doing anyway. I’m something I’m doing in my daily life. It’s my art. It’s something, like…you know, it’s a hobby, but it’s also a career. You know, I don’t see me saying, “Oh, I don’t want to do Snapchat content,” because if it ever goes back to that, then it will start to feel like a real job.


Darrell:                Right.


Cyrene:               It feels like an obligation. Snapchat — I haven’t felt obligated to give to an audience. If I don’t want to deal with Snapchat, then…I don’t know. I haven’t felt that way yet, and I just do fun stuff in daily life, and I just happen to have a camera, and I Snapchat on there. It’s not at obligation at all to create content. It’s something I would be doing anyway, even though I’m … an audience might be doing it.


Darrell:                That’s amazing. Is there a project that you want to do? Is there a company or a brand or somebody out there that you say, “You know what?  I really wish that they would talk to me more.” Is there something you’ve wanted to do, or an idea that you’ve had…have you gone out — here’s another question. Have you ever gone out and pitched an idea, and approached a brand yourself, and said, “I know you don’t know me. I’m big on this Snapchat thing. I want to show you guys something”?


Cyrene:               Yeah. I’ve done that before. I’m created a relationship with brands, and some of the social media marketing managers, we text back and forth with ideas. It’s just something casual that I do, and then if I hear from some, I say, “I have this cool Snapchat idea that would be great for your brand, and it’s like … align this with your campaign. Then I just kind of organically fit in with that campaign.


Darrell:                Right.


Cyrene:               We just go with it. The way that I pitch is not that, you know, I just go out and, “Hey, I’m just going to email a random person and see how it goes,” but I try to be friends with them first, create that relationship, and then have a conversation. I think it’s more organic that way. They trust you more once you’ve created that relationship, rather than, “Hey, who is this?” It’s worked for me that way.


Darrell:                Wow. When I look at that — I look at the little tool on there, and the little paintbrush, and I have big fat old fingers — you know, I’m old-school. I have a big ergonomic Microsoft 4000 keyboard, and a big giant trackball.


Just give us a hint. Do you zoom in on it? Do you use an iPad? How do you paint in such detail on this tiny screen? You know what I’m saying? How did you discover both how to do that, and that that could be done? Just a little hint. How do you have the patience to do that on your phone like that?


Cyrene:               I’m an artist, and Snapchat is just another medium. I do use a stylus now. I used to use my fingers, but then after doing tons of artwork, tons of Snapchat art, your fingers kind of get worn out. I used a stylus, and I figured out that was the easy way, and  if you can find a way to still tell your story,  tell your art, and make it easier on yourself, that’s what the stylus does, and that’s what I’m going with now.


Darrell:                Wow. So, there’s been a lot of talk about how Snap, Inc. doesn’t really support your guys. As you might have noticed, they have ads running. You’ll be doing all this work, and then all of a sudden there’ll be an ad, Obviously, companies are paying Snapchat.


In my mind, I mean, I kind of don’t care. We’re all advertising on Facebook, and Facebook doesn’t ask us — you know, contact me and say anything. You know what I’m saying. Don’t you feel that, if anything, these people that brought us this app gave us a gift for us to communicate, and no, they’re not obligated to support us, or call us, or play favorites like that.


How do you feel about that? There’s been a lot of chatter about this, and some people are leaving Snapchat because — you know what I’m saying — they haven’t gotten a call from the president of Snapchat or something.


Cyrene:               It’s different, though. I mean, Facebook is more a service for social media, and there’s apps like, Vine and Snapchat, where it’s creation-driven. It’s not. When you open up Snapchat, you’re encouraged to create right away, because it’s a camera right away. Same thing with Vine. I mean, YouTube is also for creatives.


Darrell:                Right.


Cyrene:               That’s the mindset around Snapchat. Being around creatives, there’s an expectation that they do need to support it, because we are…I’m not saying, “Hey, I want to the CEO to call me,” or anything. It’s just that we need tools to make it easier to make the app more accessible to create these things.


It’s difficult. I’m like, I can keep going what I’m doing right now on Snapchat, but it would be nice if they would offer analytics. They don’t block third-party analytics to give us support — this makes it easier for me, and I’ve got to that roadblock for creatives.


Darrell:                Right. I don’t think that they even understood, or anybody even understood, what this would do.


Cyrene:               Yeah.


Darrell:                I mean, Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook — two genius things that happened were, he created “relationship status,” so you could see if someone’s datable or not, and then the next thing he did was the “wall.” It was those two things, so I think when Snapchat created stories, they didn’t really even know that you guys were going to take off like this with this stuff.


They just thought, “Well, it’ll be kind of like a little strung-together movie, and maybe you could share it with a few of your friends.” I don’t think that anybody realized what was going to happen.


Cyrene:               Yeah. I agree. I think in the hands of a creator, it drives Snapchat to create these  creators who are getting brand assistance through the app, and telling brands, “Hey, look at all the cool things you can do with the app,” and also not taking away from the Snapchat revenue, because we’re creating content, and people are staying longer, seeing the ads, being all these, and brands are spending money on Snapchat which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,  and for them to not make it easier on us, banning us if we’re using, you know, third-party apps, and making it so difficult.


Darrell:                Right.


Cyrene:               You know, I think there should be a little bit of support there, and a little bit of help from Snapchat there. I’m not saying big help, but just a little bit.


Darrell:                Yeah. A little bit of help would be good. So, what’s next for you? I hear you’re speaking at events now all over the world. What’s coming up for you in the next couple of months?


Cyrene:               What’s coming up for me Well, I have a book coming out in the next couple of months, and [crosstalk][14:04] that’s really fairly big.


Darrell:                Wow.


Cyrene:               The book is called 11 Seconds to Success. A lot of people have been asking me about what my journey was like on Snapchat, and how did I do it. The book is almost like a how-to book, and it’s also an autobiography, taking my life experiences, and how they can relate to it, and create a career out of their own  experiences. That’s what my book is going to be about that.


I have a lot of … I’m going to be speaking at South by Southwest in an official panel. I also have some other conventions I’m going to be in in the next few months. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Also, brand new work and more Snapchat stories.


Darrell:                Wow.


Cyrene:               Yeah. Mm-hmm.


Darrell:                That’s great. Sounds like it’s going to be a really exciting year for you. Well, thank you so much. I’m an old-school SEO Web designer kind of guy, but I really wanted to connect with you. Like I said, I believe that marketing is theater, and when you’re talented, when you can entertain people, that is a gift to the world, and you guys have found, in this platform, a way to use your gift to bring happiness.


I think, too, that the platform — the people on it — seem to be positive people. I mean, wouldn’t you say that? The response that you’ve received has been very supportive, and you’ve helped millions, I’m sure, of people have a better day — just smile. Put a smile on your face. Isn’t that just something that’s your gift to the world?


Cyrene:               That’s my goal. That’s my goal. I’m glad to just make people smile, and they make me smile, too, and so it works both ways. I also forgot to mention that I am a Snapchatter, but I’m also the founder of The 11 Seconds. I think since Snapchat hasn’t had a discovery, yet for users, so I’m using that. has something — a website to show off what the community does. If you can give a shout out to my website, it would really help us get known. It also might serve as an inspiration for you.


Darrell:                Yeah. Most definitely. We’re definitely going to put all the links — everything that you do — in there, and also, I want to get this recording — we’re going to have this transcribed. I’m going to get this on my Snapchat site.


Cyrene:               Nice. Aw.


Darrell:                Yeah. I want to make sure that everybody’s in there.


Cyrene:               Awesome.


Darrell:                I’m going to make it into a video, this conversation, with pictures of you and your art, and all that kind of stuff.


Cyrene:               Sounds great. If there’s anything — because I think I said, “Oh, I’m not like the other guy — [crosstalk][17:05] the car salesman guy.”


Darrell:                That’s fine. I’m going to do my official end to this, and then we’ll keep talking for a couple minutes, okay?


Cyrene:               Okay. That sounds good.


Darrell:                Thank you so much for joining us. We can’t to read your book. We can’t wait to see what’s coming up next for you. You’re going to be all over the world. Thank you so much for bringing joy and happiness to people, especially young people, giving them hope, showing them how a talented person can use their talents in a positive way, and have fun and make a living at the same time. Thank you so much.


Cyrene:               Thank you so much for having me. I hope that you enjoy my Snapchat. I hope to inspire people, and just have fun every single day, and make your dreams come true. It’s possible now with social media — everything that’s going on. Again, thank you having me.

Would you like to work with one of our Snapchat Influencers to market your brand? Call 303.353.4354

If you are a company or a Snapchatter, I would love to work with you in an intensive brainstorming session to develop your company's Snapchat strategy. I will also teach you techniques for mastering this amazing and engaging platform for your business.

Learn more about how you can use Snapchat to market your business here

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What Shonduras Can Teach You About Working With Snapchat Influencers

Snapchat leading Influencer Shonduras spoke last week at Snaphappen, the world’s first global Snapchat conference, and awards.

Shonduras has risen to the top of the pack as a Snapchat influencer because of his massive creativity using the Snapchat platform.

From creating a video game to crazy off road adventures to bouncing in to foam to, well you name it, Shonduras has been approached by many brands to promote their services.

Recently he was given a trip to Hawaii to work with Red Bull.

As he points out though, sometimes he has to tell a brand or product NO to their idea to using his talents to promote a product or service to his massive Snapchat audience.


Because Shonduras insists that any promotion he does has to fit in with his Snapstory life and weave smoothly into her persona.

To promote a windex or window cleaning product, as he suggests, he would load the product into squirt guns and have a water fight.

He won’t just magically appear with your product in the background as his audience will immediately suspect that something is out of place.

You see, to work with a Snapchat influencer who has his own style and audience, your brand must move to match HIS style and his creativity.

What most Snapchat influencers want is for a brand to simply let THEM develop the Snapchat story around their brand or product.

This new social platform is driven by talented young people who are working EVERY DAY to be creative and bring their fans something NEW and FUN every single day.

That is a LOT of work.

As Shonduras pointed out, he would work with a Snapchat influencer who only has 10k views per snap (and YES folks, on Snapchat we can SEE not only how many people watch our snaps, but exactly WHO they are!) if that influencer has a style and a creativity similar to his.

So, if you are a major brand interested in working with Shonduras or any other top influencer, don’t come to them with your brilliant idea for a Snapchat story. Make sure your brand understands and wants to attract the audience OF that influencer and let someone as Shonduras use HIS creativity to include your product or service in his story.

Most actors and actresses that star in TV commercials became famous because of roles they were hired to play, on Snapchat, talented people like Shonduras are creating their OWN persona, characters, scripts, and fully producing, editing, and creating effects for their OWN content.

They are working their tails off to create their own celebrity and influence. I personally stand inspired and awed by these talented young people, and if you want to work with them, you had better bring your creative A Game!

A video including live footage from Shoduras’ presentation at Snaphappen will be included in this blog shortly!




10 Ways To Gain New Followers On Snapchat

Snapchat is more than just a great way of sharing quick, viral snippets of yourself and your services or products. It also brings in a lot of traffic to your website when used correctly. However, before you can “worry” about this, you must first learn how to gain followers on Snapchat.


Add Your Snapchat Handle Everywhere


Put your Snapchat handle in all of your email signatures and on every social media bio your company creates. It’s not enough to simply do this, though. You must make it easy for everyone to see your Snapchat handle because nobody will ever take the time to search for it. Also, don’t post it by itself. Make sure you create a description of what type of content your followers should expect you to post on your Snapchat.


Download and Customize Your Snap Code


Like all social media platforms, Snapchat also has a place for your picture. In this case, it’s called your “ghost.” Make sure you put your human face or, at the very least, an engaging picture that represents your brand in the ghost. Create something engaging with a crazy background color, if possible.


Tell People Exactly What to Snap You


Give your followers an exact order of what you want people to send you. Post this on all your social media posts. For instance, GiniCanBreathe tells everyone, everywhere to send them a Snap saying “poo.” This is a great way in which to track engagement on all your various platforms as well.


Announce and Create Short Stories


Tell people ahead of time that you’re going to post a really exciting story the next day. Create cliffhangers so you build some tension. When it’s time for creating your story, make sure it’s only one or two minutes long because nobody wants to sit through anything longer as they’re impatient, plus Snapchat is also known for eating data. Of course, you can sometimes go over if you have something really engaging to say.


Use Other Social Media Platforms to Advertise Your Snapchat


Utilize other social media platforms to grow your Snapchat following. Seek out sites like Reddit Snapchat and post your Snapchat handle (e.g. there. Make sure you add really cool captions telling people why and how they should follow you. Also, create an interesting ad with either your Snap code or your Snapchat URL to post in various places online.


Have Influencers on Your Side


Pay someone who has a large Snapchat or Instagram following to give you a shout out. If your budget doesn’t allow for this, find something you can barter in exchange for the shout out. For instance, if you have a large following on another social media platform where they don’t have as many followers, offer to promote them there.


Create Good Snaps


Typically people aren’t alone when they’re watching your content. They’re in the room with at least one other person. So, you’re on a mission to create engaging content. This is funny, emotional or informative content. This is important because you want people to audibly react to your content so the other person in the room with them wonders what they’re laughing at. When this happens that other person will ad you to their Snapchat so you have yet another follower.


Snapchat honestly does a lot of good for your business. However, you may feel like you don’t have time to work with another social media platform. In this case, we invite you to contact us so we can help you make the most of your time while engaging in Snapchat. We’re here and happy to help.


How Does Advertising Work On Snapchat?

Snapchat, despite how simple it is as a social media platform, has a massive reach. On any given day, the site’s content reaches 41 percent of everyone between the ages of 18 and 34 in the United States. That’s millions of eyes, all of them tuning in to see what this website has to see, and internalizing the content it creates. That is no mean feat. If your business wants to tap into that audience, it’s a good idea to create a Snapchat account, and to try to get followers to pay attention to the photos, video, and other content you’re creating.

If you want to take a shortcut, though, Snapchat does have an advertising option businesses can invest in.

How Does Advertising on Snapchat Work?

Snapchat has a variety of options available when it comes to advertising on their platform. The most common option used by businesses is a full-screen, 10-second ad that runs before the regular content a Snapchat user is viewing. This is not dissimilar from how YouTube runs a short ad before monetized video content. However, with Snapchat, the videos are short and punchy enough that there’s no need to skip the ad to get to the (often equally short) content which is being shown. The difference is that with Snapchat ads, users have the option to swipe up to see more, giving them an immediate option in the event your ad catches their attention.

Does that work? Well, according to Snapchat, the swipe-up rate is about five times higher than the click-through rate on ads hosted on competing platforms. That’s pretty impressive by any standard.

Video ads aren’t the only options advertisers have on Snapchat, though. Geofilters are another option, and they’re often considered less intrusive than full-screen ads. the way it works is that you create a tiny piece of art, and when someone takes a snap within your area, the geofilter allows them to add a location. This allows you to layer on an ad that doesn’t look like an ad, potentially reaching millions of Snapchat users.

Lastly, one of the more unusual ad options companies have is to create a sponsored lens. These lenses allow users who are taking pictures of themselves to add unusual effects to their pictures. Maybe it makes them look like a rock star, or turns their head into a taco. While they might seem whimsical, and even silly, these lenses can be hugely popular. And when a lens gets popular, the brand it’s attached to receives a lot of attention. Attention that often turns into social media activity, and which can be exchanged directly into more business.

Which Snapchat Ad Is Right For You?

If you want to advertise on Snapchat, but you’re not sure which option best fits your brand’s needs, that’s okay. The same team that creates Snapchat’s other products also works on ads for their clients. So all you have to do is reach out to the site, and make it clear you are interested in advertising with them. Once your intention is clear, the site will help you design your campaign, and explain the options you have available. They’ll even make recommendations based on your needs.

That’s probably the most important thing you need to know if you’re going to advertise on Snapchat; you don’t have to do it alone. Even if you’re relatively new to the world of social media advertising, and even if you don’t have a team of graphic designers and videographers, that’s no reason not put yourself out there for the millions of people who use this site to see.

For more information on how you can best use Snapchat for your business needs, simply contact us today!

How To Use Bitmoji To Add To Your Snapchat Stories

So, your business finally decided to join the bandwagon, and get onto Snapchat. You’ve been at it for a while now, and you’ve managed to get a bit of a following. You show your products, give live updates while you’re at trade shows, and you let people know whenever something odd or unusual happens at the office. That time a cat wandered in and waited for service? Solid gold. Your manager showing up dressed as a zombie when it wasn’t Halloween? A solid silver. If you’re starting to run out of content ideas, or you just aren’t getting the same flare that you used to, then you might want to consider looking into bitmoji to add a little flavor to your schedule.

What is a Bitmoji?

What is a bitmoji? Well, it’s an app that lets you create a personalized avatar of yourself (or anyone else at your office) that you can include in your snaps. It’s a lot like turning yourself into a mascot, or a comic book. You can then include this avatar in your snaps, shooting it out to your followers as a way to get a quick laugh, or if you want to make your avatar the ambassador of a particular kind of snap.

For example, say that every Friday you sent out promo codes to your followers. Instead of an accompanying picture of the intern, use a bitmoji. This immediately identifies the kind of content your viewers are seeing, and it differentiates it noticeably from other sorts of content you post. Which is not to say that if you’re using bitmoji that you should only limit it to one kind of post, but if you’re looking for a way to differentiate one kind of snap from another, that’s a good way to do it.

How to Use Bitmoji to Add to Your Snaps

The key when using bitmoji with your snaps is to be sure that you aren’t just sending the same image over and over again. Just like if you took the same picture, in the same post, with the same expression, your followers would get bored. So, while you might have a favorite shot of your avatar, it’s important to change it up.

What does that mean? Well, you need to have different shots, different poses, different accessories, and different backgrounds. It might take some time and work to come up with just the right image (and a clever tag to make any of your jokes really pop), but the end result is that you’ll get more attention from your audience. Novelty is always welcome, and as long as you keep your content fresh with bitmoji, instead of letting it go stale by relying on the app to fill in the cracks in your snap schedule, you’re likely to see some really positive results from its use.

Don’t Use Them Too Often

If you’ve built your audience with product demonstrations, and your own, unique imagery, then that’s what your followers are tuning in to see. While adding bitmoji to your posts on occasion can spice things up, remember that it is a spice. A little bit of salt in a dish can make it better, but too much can make it unappetizing. So make sure you find the right balance, because it’s better to have too little of a spice than too much. You can always add more, if it turns out you need to.

For more information on how you can get ahead on social media in general, and on Snapchat in particular, all you have to do is contact us today!