The Social Climber: in Conversation with

Sunny Lenarduzzi

Content Creator and Consultant, Vancouver, BC

How to become a YouTube star and media consultant from the comfort of your own home. 

By: Michael Small | Photos: Agnes Ciaciek

Lenarduzzi is wearing the Take It Breezy Tank

Ten years ago Sunny Lenarduzzi’s job didn’t exist. Hell, even now – in 2016 – it still sounds a bit like make believe. Whether it’s creating marketing-how-to videos that wrack up tens of thousands of views on YouTube or helping behind-the-curve brands build a successful social strategy, Lenarduzzi has forged her own path on a road paved with likes, views and retweets.

After time spent in a traditional broadcasting role left her feeling unsatisfied, Lenarduzzi’s turned her eyes towards then-fledgling social media. With nothing but a webcam and a dazzling smile, she started a YouTube channel that offered visual guides to the latest social media crazes in a down-to-earth and relatable manner. If you still think Snapping is a rhythmic way to keep time, Lenarduzzi is your girl.

A few years and millions of views later, Lenarduzzi has vaulted herself into a position where brands and influencers are seeking out her guidance and magazines are snapping her photo for the cover (Lenarduzzi was the cover girl of BCBusiness’s 30 Under 30 in 2016). Partnerships with Hootsuite and speaking engagements at NATO are only the tip of the iceberg, and just like the internet she lives and breathes, Lenarduzzi is always looking for the next big thing. Here she explains how YouTube changed her life, what brands get wrong about social media and how her sports background gives her a competitive edge.

Lenarduzzi is wearing the Mulberry Pant

Kit and Ace: How do you explain your job to strangers?

Sunny Lenarduzzi: I used to say I was a content creator and consultant. That’s the short answer. The longer version of that is that I’ve had a social media consultancy business for six years; I started by creating a blog and that evolved into me working with companies big and small, creating strategies for them. Then I moved into video marketing, partnered with Hootsuite and from there started my own YouTube channel. That’s allowed me to be a content creator and create content for different companies as more of a brand representative/ambassador. I consult with personal brands and major corporations on how to build their online strategy.

How did you decide this was the path you wanted to take?

SL: Ever since I was a kid and found out I could speak and get paid to do it, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I remember looking up to Mary Hart and Oprah as a kid and I was obsessed. I knew that media in some way, shape or form was where I’d end up. So I went the broadcasting route, buy it didn’t feel like I had total creative freedom to do what I wanted. That’s one of my core things in life – I need to feel like I can work from wherever and do what I want when I want.

I don’t want to be told what to do, what to say, how to say it and what to wear. I knew nothing about business, or the online space. I was green to all of it but I taught myself everything along the way. I still consider myself a broadcaster because I’m creating content and broadcasting messages, but my favourite part of what I do is that I’m not just talking at people, I’m building communities and engaging with people.

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Lenarduzzi is wearing the Take It Breezy Tank

What recent or current projects are you working on that have you excited?

SL: A lot of brand partnerships. I really stay away from the word influencer, but I’m in a unique position in the sense that not only do I teach brands and work with people on how to build their online presence, but because I built my own, I’m now being approached to work with companies as a brand ambassador and influencer. It’s been a really cool experience – in the last year I’ve gotten to work with companies like Comcast and Hootsuite.

With YouTube, what was the process like getting it off the ground?

SL: I think that’s where everything came full circle for me, and it started on a total whim. Periscope had just come out and there weren’t any good tutorials about it online. I’m a very visual person, and I was like, “How come no one is doing anything like this?” – breaking down things in a fun, easy, digestible format. So I was going to do it. I literally went from not knowing how to use Periscope in the morning to studying it, and then creating a tutorial on it that afternoon, on my couch in my pajamas using my windows for lighting. I thought it might get a couple hundred of views, but it took off. A thousand the first week, then 2,000 the next. Now that video has over 60,000 views. I knew that I was on to something. I started making tutorials every week for a year and in that time I grew my channel from 500 subscribers to 35,000 and 15,000 views to 2 million.

YouTube is the reason that I’ve gotten to speak all over the world. When I spoke at NATO the way they found me was YouTube. They thought I presented information on video marketing in an easily digestible way and thought I’d be a great addition to their forum. I was like, “Are you kidding me?”

Nothing has impacted my business the way YouTube has. It’s made a 100 per cent difference. Truly, from the moment I started making them I was like, “Holy shit, this is actually working."

Lenarduzzi is wearing the Mulberry Pant
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How has having a professional athlete for a father (Bob Lenarduzzi is a former player and now president of the Vancouver Whitecaps) impacted your approach to work?

SL: Growing up in an athletic family, there are a lot of mindset things that really impacted me. I’m extremely competitive. More so with myself than anyone else. I don’t pay attention to who is perceived to be my competition. If you’re doing your business in your own way and truly being authentic with yourself – and this is going to sound airy fairy – I actually don’t think you have competitors because no one is you, and no one else does things the way you do.

Does the athletic gene run in the family?

SL: I work out every day. It’s my form of meditation. Working out for me is something that has to happen every day. Even if it’s a 15-minute walk or jog. I do Bar Method classes every single morning, or try to fit it in throughout the day. I eat really healthy and that makes me feel balanced and that makes me feel happier when I’m treating my body the right way.

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What advice do you have for companies who are still behind the eight-ball for social?

What I always say to people is that whenever you’re making content online, you have to think about your audience first. I try to think of what questions are being asked over and over. What are things people want to know and can be used in their businesses to grow? That’s what I make my content about. One of the biggest mistakes still that’s so shocking to me is that brands are using social media as an outlet to create a monologue, to just talk at people. They forget that it’s called social media for a reason.

Discover more from Lenarduzzi at and @sunnylenarduzzi