Creative Strategist Marta Mae on the Formula Behind Social Media Success
“Authenticity isn’t a trend. It’s here to stay.”
If organic discovery exists in 2022, it’s thanks to Marta Mae. You probably remember her Instagram account Hot Girls Eating Pizza, and chances are, you’ve been influenced by her, as well. For Marta, founder of the creative agency Air Milkshake, the formula to her success, validated by an influx of requests to help launch brands, is simple. “The curation of products and a community of awesome people plus brand magic equals Air Milkshake,” she says.
She credits the hundreds of women she met on “pizza dates” as inspiration for building her dream life. Turning the side hustle lifestyle into a full-fledged way of being was intimidating. “I found so much joy and purpose in my own projects and eventually I just trusted that whatever it took to work for myself would be worth it,” she says. Four years ago, Marta left her full-time job. Today, she’s the blueprint for young creatives dreaming of their own artistic freedom and career fulfillment on their own terms.
Bringing the “clinically vetted [and] price transparent” skincare brand Dieux to life is one of the many projects with Marta’s magic touch. “Dieux exists to raise skincare standards,” she writes. “I truly believe that we are raising the consciousness of skincare and beauty.” Brilliant formulations aside, you’d be hard pressed to find a beauty brand with as much buzz as Diuex on the market.
That buzz comes from trust, says Marta. “People really trust the creators [and] influencers they follow…who only want to post about things they genuinely like,” she says. It’s screenshotting the new probiotic soda your friend signed off on in their story. It’s saving an image of a super cute new hotel lobby. You’re buying recycled sneakers because your friend has been wearing them three days in a row. According to Marta, the whole point of social media is chasing after this feeling. “We follow people to learn about new products, places, and things.”
If you’re a new founder in the market, here’s Marta’s advice: “No one knows what they’re doing, and that’s the best part.” She suggests following your instinct, the same guide she uses when deciding whether or not to work with a brand. When she’s deciding whether or not she wants to work with a brand. “ I have to try it first and genuinely love it before moving forward,” she says. “I really enjoy helping brands launch and identifying the first 100 or so people they should get in the hands of.“
For younger followers with her career tacked to their proverbial vision board, Marta’s advice? “Just start. Execute your ideas and you’ll never have regret.” Another piece of advice: figure out how you work best. “I recently got really into Human Design and learned I’m a projector, so I literally need rest in order to be successful,” she says. “We’re not supposed to work 8-10 hour days. I wish I knew this in my 20s. I really prioritize rest and downtime now.”
Marta also makes it a priority to move her body first thing in the morning. “I touch the ocean when I can. If it’s a nice day, I’ll take calls from the beach and work from Malibu. I stopped caring what people thought—who cares how you get your work done—and I became so much more productive and happier.”