How one guy turned partying — and social media — into his full-time job

  • Mike Tommasiello quit his job to go to most-talked about events and post social media content for brands.
  • He gets paid on average $1,000 a post.
  • Now, he's taking on a mentorship role and helping plan social strategy for other celebrities online.
Michael Tommasiello quit his job to become a full-time partier and social media influencer.
Photographer | CNBC
Michael Tommasiello quit his job to become a full-time partier and social media influencer.

Mike Tommasiello has turned his passion for partying into a career.

Tommasiello, known best as NYDoorman, is known for his snarky social media posts, where he boasts about getting access to the events you'll never be able to attend. Woven throughout all the humblebrags are brand-sponsored posts, which he claims he gets paid on average $1,000 to do thanks to his carefully cultivated sphere of online followers.

"I know a ton of people who have a ton of followers, but because their content is not relatable they can't get deals," he said. "Brands are becoming a lot smarter about how they approach people. The audience is getting a lot smarter about it, too."

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Tommasiello graduated from Hofstra University in 2012 with a degree focused in finance and economics. He began working as a media analyst for advertising agencies, including MediaCom, KBS and DigitasLBi. But, his real passion was enjoying the New York nightlife.

Being a regular person usually means you'll never make it past the velvet rope to get into the hottest night clubs. Tommasiello had to get creative, which included his greatest find: befriending the managers and doormen by chatting with them to make their shift less boring or sharing a cigarette.

"All the doormen became friends of mine," he said.

Inside the clubs, Tommasiello began to tweet things he observed, like if he saw Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian or some other celebrity. It didn't really boost his personal social media stats until he realized that if he created a separate account and went even more over the top, it would grow his following. If the NYDoorman persona could take off, he could be paid for brand-sponsored social media posts.

"For whatever reason, the nightlife content wasn't resonating with people because they saw me, this outsider," he said. "All of a sudden, you strip away the person from the account, and it becomes something else."

In 2014, he scored his first "remotely cool" deal: Societe Perrier, the former nightlife website for Perrier, invited him to Art Basel in Miami. The company promised him access to all the events as long as he tweeted about them, but he would have to fund his own flight and accommodations.

So, he quit his day job, booked the cheapest ticket possible and stayed in an Airbnb, although his posts showed a much more extravagant lifestyle. The point of going wasn't about the parties — although that was a major part of the fun — but to create connections to other brands and influencers that would get him a better paying deal, he said. It's a strategy he sticks to this day.

"A lot of the time it isn't about making money for me," he said. "It's about making access."

Source: NYDoorman

Left: Tommasiello at Coachella 2017. Right: A sponsored post that Tommasiello did with Via on The8App.

Today, Tommasiello has 43,900 Twitter followers and 14,000 Instagram followers, but he says he can charge companies premium because he's followed by people who are willing to spend on luxury and art. He said he also has fans among celebrities with large followings like Luann D'Agostino (better known as Countess Luann from "The Real Housewives of New York"), Sophie Tweed-Simmons and social media star Nicolette Mason. In addition, he's selective about what brands he works with, making sure it's something he naturally uses or a cause he agrees with, even if it means taking less or no money.

"I understand that 14,000 isn't a ton, but who makes up that 14,000 people is more important," he said.

As he grows older, he's shifting his work to take more of a mentorship role. He now works as a strategist at social media talent agency Talent Resources, where he helps plan digital and social strategy for celebrity clients. Part of that includes scoping out which new platforms to be on and helping them find brand deals. For example, he's working with The8App platform to help find charitable campaigns for his clients to work with, including potential deals with the United Nations and the Kimberly-Clark Foundation.

"My biggest concern was where are all these influencers going to be in 10 years when brands aren't lining up to do stuff?" he said. "When you have a normal everyday person who is in their 20s doing this, does it translate to your early 30s and so on?"