Whether posting your OOTDs is your full-time job or just your “friend from Instagram’s” terrain, this new app makes life, or at least finding your next scenic setting, that much easier. Conceived by Canadian influencer Emma Rose Leger and co-founder Justin White, SCOUT is a platform to help you discover places near you that have been recommended by “Scouters”, aka content creators. Once you’ve found a spot that gets your heart pumping, you can unlock the coordinates (and shooting tips) for $1.99 — which means the user who uploaded it to the app also gets a commission. The Daily caught up with Leger after publication to hear how it got started and how it’s going…
What’s your backstory? When did you become a full-time creator?
After high school, I knew I wanted to study fashion, but I wasn’t quite sure what direction. I completed a degree based on fashion and business and it really helped me figure out what I wanted to do. The social media course required me to actively create and post a blog. I ended up falling in love with her and carried on with her after fashion school. Realizing I could monetize my creative endeavors, I began negotiating brand deals and was eventually able to quit my 9-5 and the many odd jobs I had at the time. I’ve been a full-time content creator ever since!
What do you like about being a Vancouver resident?
Vancouver will always be my home because that’s where my closest friends and family live. That being said, Vancouver has some of the most beautiful outdoor areas (in my opinion!), beaches and forests – I really love being outside and by the sea. I feel lucky to be based in such a beautiful part of the world!
What are some of your most Canadian characteristics?
I definitely say “sorry” a lot for no reason. I know it’s a cliché to say this, but I do it. We’re sorry. I also love poutine!!
Tell us about the original idea for SCOUT. How long has it been in the pipeline?
The idea for SCOUT came up a few years ago when I was traveling the world and spending most of my time traveling exploring beautiful backdrops. While part of me loves to explore places, driving Uber everywhere in a new city can be very time consuming, tedious and not to mention expensive. I knew there had to be a tool for the industry to streamline this process and make it easier for everyone to find unique places in different cities. So Justin White, co-founder of SCOUT, and I decided to make it happen and in 2020 we hired a team of developers to bring our vision to life. The project was in the pipeline for two years before finally launching on May 11, 2022. Since then we’ve seen 19,000 downloads and over 21,000 locations uploaded to the app. We’re so excited for what’s to come next!
Are you designing a technical product for the first time? What were some initial insights?
This is my very first time entering the technology space – I had never done anything like this before. I have experience in launching several fashion and lifestyle projects such as: B. my numerous clothing collections with Beginning Boutique, Nordstrom and Call It Spring, but this is my first tech project. I would say our biggest learning curve was working with a large team of developers and managing the development process. There’s a lot more to consider when running a mobile app. For example, clothing and other products are one-time purchases, while with an app you hope your users will keep coming back to try new features and discover new content. Accomplishing this challenge is a completely new and exciting experience for me!
In short, how does it work?
Gone are the days of driving around aimlessly, wasting time, energy and money to find the right location and setting. The SCOUT app streamlines the creative process of endlessly searching for new and exciting places when traveling to unfamiliar cities or places or even your hometown. Beyond its core functionality, Scout offers an incentive platform that rewards you for curating and sharing unique places. Scouters earn a commission every time a user “unlocks” your location — monetizing the creative effort that goes into finding worthy locations.
How does it work?
Users search their home feed for local and international public places posted by their favorite scouters. Users can use the Explore page to explore public locations for filming and/or upcoming trips, and curate their favorite spots in advance, saving them valuable time, money, and energy. After selecting the perfect location(s), the user can “unlock” not only the tips from the scouter but also the exact coordinates of the location – e.g. best recording time, lighting conditions, parking situation, etc. Unlocking the location also allows the user to log into the comment area of the post participate.
How does it feel now that it’s live?
It’s a great achievement! Probably one of the biggest in my career. I don’t think people realize how complex it is to create an app from scratch – it was one of the greatest undertakings of my life. The response so far has been incredible. I always knew people would love the idea, and I almost didn’t know how many people did actually needed that.
Tell us about your last launch trip.
To create a successful launch, we sent eight influencers and I to two of the largest – and highly scoutable – cities in the world, London and Paris, for six days! It was a great way to generate huge social buzz and connect with a diverse group of influencers from around the world. Each creator explored both cities and posted their unique locations on the app to share with their dedicated followers.
What are your top three pieces of advice for influencers looking to devote themselves to content creation full-time?
It may sound cliche, but my best advice is to just start, now. What I hear most from people who want to pursue this career is that they are “too scared to start” or “think it’s too late”. I think it’s never too late, there’s always room for more and the industry needs fresh faces and ideas. I always say that fear is just one degree away from being excited! The next best advice is to be consistent. If you want to make content creation a full-time career, this is what you need to focus on! Once you start, it’s time to show your creative side, and I suggest finding a consistent content schedule. Finally be yourself. You show yourself out there and people want to know who you are. Show your quirky side and don’t be afraid to just be yourself!
Where do you find ideas for content/posts?
I get inspiration from everywhere, be it from other creators on Instagram, TikTok, and even Pinterest! I find my best work comes when I travel to new places as well. And now, with SCOUT, running that content just got so much easier. I have so much fun unlocking different creators’ locations and going there to shoot!
Let’s talk fashion. What five brands are you currently obsessed with?
Only five?! That’s tough for a shopaholic! I love a lot of brands so I like to shop at LuisaViaRoma, SSense and Farfetch to get to know brands I might not otherwise know. Some of my favorite small businesses right now are Heavy Manners & Bare Minimale which are some of my favorites for cute summer outfits!
Favorite summer trend?
flip flops I know this is a random trend but I love the fact that flip flops are now considered fashionable and you can upgrade them with any look. They are so comfy in summer! Also, you can go high and low. I love styling my Havaianas and recently invested in a pair of Chanel flip flops.
Trend you can’t wait to see the back of?
clogged. I don’t think I’ll get into it, but give me a call if I change my mind.
Top investment pieces of recent times?
I recently bought a beige vintage Chanel backpack from the 90’s. I absolutely adore it. I wear it almost every day and it has also become my mini travel bag! I use it so much.
Pieces that are always on your wish list?
I love collecting bags and shoes and I love buying vintage items, so I’m always on the lookout for unique pieces to add to my collection. Right now I’m looking to get myself a fun and colorful mini Chanel shoulder bag for summer.
What is your biggest dream for the future of SCOUT?
My dream is to continue to see the app grow, evolve and be continually updated to be an app that can really help the content creation industry grow. My biggest dream is to see people make a career out of SCOUT – with a commission earned for every unlock, there is huge potential for anyone with a creative eye to turn this into a source of passive income. As for Justin, he is definitely more tech-savvy and has a goal of getting 100,000+ users to the app within a year. He also focuses on making the user experience in the app as smooth and efficient as possible. His biggest dream is to see thousands of users on the app every day, not only because of the functionality, but simply because it is a pleasure to interact with. Everyone loves a clean and responsive mobile app. Aside from helping individuals find beautiful places and hosting an amazing community, there is so much more for SCOUT to do… and this is just the beginning!
What is your biggest career dream in general?
Alongside SCOUT, my personal brand still comes first and some career goals currently include attending one of the major fashion house shows during Fashion Week, becoming a long-term ambassador for a brand I truly love and already support organically, and moving to a city in Europe for a year to see where that could take me, professionally and personally. And keep growing my community like I’ve always done, genuine, organic and true to me!
Download SCOUT from the App Store here.
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