No one can deny the power and impact of social media. Just ask charismatic social media influencer Anthony Sciarratta, a proud Queens guy born and raised in Middle Village.
Seeking greener pastures, the young entrepreneur and published author — who penned three books and received exposure for his work using a grassroots social media campaign while building a personal brand — decided to quit his 9-to-5 job in January of 2022 to pursue his true passion and become a full-time influencer. That led to his newest venture. Sciarratta Public Relations, located in a small building at 1244 Clintonville St. (third floor, unit A), in Whitestone – right above Tutto Calcio Espresso Bar – is a unique music and film studio that can be rented out by influencers. The space is about 850 square feet, with almost every inch dedicated to film production on any scale.
During the grand opening this past Sunday, the place was abuzz with excitement as 50-plus influencers and clients who own local businesses got a first-hand look at the new studio space, while sampling scrumptious pastries from Fortunato Brothers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – one of Sciarratta’s top clients.
“I was excited to open my new studio, as I celebrate my one-year anniversary in business,” Sciarratta told QNS. “My main goal in launching this ‘WeWork’-type concept, is to help aspiring influencers have a place to go, where all camera equipment, voice recording equipment, backdrops and props will be provided during their time renting the space,” he explained.
“My long-term goal is to expand into offering a masterclass for aspiring influencers. This could range from anything like posting schedules to helping them navigate video editing software.”
With his expertise in media and tech, the New York Institute of Technology graduate, who got a master’s in communications arts, has also been working with local businesses in Queens and Brooklyn to help boost their sales and profits. Sciarratta typically helps them manage the day-to-day operations of their social media accounts. This includes creative direction, posting schedules, bringing in other influencers, video editing and much more.
“I want my current and future clients to constantly benefit from working with me. I want to thank them by providing a place for them to expand their social media plans, should they choose to take things to the next level,” he said.
The influencer noted that he had three dedicated spaces in his studio “that mirror actual locations influencers would like to film at.”
The first, has a green screen, which could make it seem like the subject being filmed is anywhere in the world. The second spot looks like the outside of an Italian cafe and has a retractable awning. The third, is what he likes to call a “grandma’s house.” This is meant to offer a 1970s aesthetic, with wood paneling and plastic covered couches. And the back room – where the bulk of Sciarratta’s operations are based – is solely dedicated to video editing, with premiere software and computers.
Potential clients, who are interested in renting studio space, should reach out at sciarrattapr.com or email [email protected] for more information and to book an appointment — then just bring their own memory cards. Sciarratta indicated that he charges a separate fee if a client would like him to edit the videos they film. And all bookings are by appointment only (no walk-in appointments).
“Previously, I was working with various companies as a communications coordinator. My goal was always to start my own business though, so I made the transition seamlessly,” he shared. “In a post-COVID world, I saw the birth of many new businesses and wanted to hop on the train before it passed.”
He added: “In order to support myself after leaving my 9-to-5 job, I formed an LLC and offered to manage the social media accounts of businesses I frequented for my entire life. My first client was Fortunato Brothers Bakery. After signing them, the first few videos I filmed and edited for them went viral. I went from having one account to multiple, after people started calling into the bakery and asking who their social media director was.”
Other clients include Mario’s Meats and Gourmet Deli in Middle Village; Burrito Blvd. Mexican Grill in Middle Village and other locations; Tutto Calcio Espresso Bar in Whitestone; Bourbon Street in Bayside; Di Vino Pizzeria in Howard Beach; Michael’s of Brooklyn; Circo’s Pastry Shop and Carmine & Son’s Pizzeria, as well as Luigi’s Pizza of Park Slope – all in Brooklyn; the Little Cigar Factory, in Albertson, NY; and the original Salpino in Wantaugh, Long Island. Sciarratta has also worked with several up-and-coming influencers.
“Mario’s Meats ran its own social media until a fellow business owner and friend from Fortunato’s Bakery told us about Anthony Sciarratta’s public relations company. Any small business owner knows how important a word-of-mouth recommendation is and no one would put their own reputation on the line if the service wasn’t worth it, so we hired him, and the decision was one that benefited our business greatly,” owner Joe DiGangi said. “We have seen a sales increase of about 20% and in addition, we have broadened our customer base tremendously. Our social media following has soared to over 120,000 followers on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. With this surge we are even gaining customers from different states and our merchandise sales have expanded exponentially.”
He added: “The best thing about Anthony is that he’s a stand-up guy. He always shows up on time, is professional, eager to work and is always available, even with juggling various clientele. He’s extremely talented and knowledgeable with all things production, media and tech. We’re lucky to have secured Sciarratta Public Relations from both a personal and business standpoint.”
Many people don’t have the budget to start a podcast or buy the type of equipment and props that this studio space in Whitestone provides. Sciarratta pointed out that while there are YouTube studios in Manhattan, they are usually unaffordable to the average social media influencer.
“My goal is to make my studio available to the everyday person,” he added. “To my knowledge, there isn’t a place in Queens like this one yet. I’m providing them with the space and equipment to make their dreams come true at a minimal cost.”
Popular lifestyle entrepreneur, high performance business coach and host of a top 100 iTunes-ranked podcast, Lewis Howes, said it best: “It can be easy to become ‘friends’ or ‘connected’ with someone in a digital world, but it requires thought and strategy to convert social media connections into rewarding business relationships.”