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."