meet the hummingbirds.

In July 2018, Emily + Whitney launched a group called “the hummingbirds” in an effort to build a community of local champions + Des Moines advocates. These are humans who show up for their community relentlessly.

With the rise (and effectiveness) of influencer marketing and a growing group of bloggers, small business owners, storytellers, and community champions in Des Moines, Emily + Whitney decided to gather these humans and mobilize them for the greater good.

Businesses partner with hummingbirds to get the word out about an upcoming event, a new business, or to simply raise awareness about a brand.
How does it work? You pitch an idea to us along with a perk for the birds, and we see if it’s a good fit. Once we have birds on board, we take flight and get your message out to the masses.

Our goal is to help our local community thrive.

about the birds

we've created a service that adds structure + strategy to the most effective form of marketing: word of mouth.

our hummingbirds are not influencers, they are everyday des moines people who use their voice as an act of service. when they create content, people engage. when they talk, people listen.

we are making decisions on where to eat, what to buy, and what to do this weekend based on what our friends are telling us over drinks, at the grocery store, or on our newsfeed.

you can choose a static billboard or paper ad that promotes your product or service, but nothing builds trust + credibility faster than someone else talking about your brand.


We don’t offer exclusivity. We are an abundance-minded business, which means we believe there’s more than enough business to go around for all of us to be incredibly successful. Plus, if our hummingbirds are bringing more awareness to your industry because of multiple partnerships, you benefit.

Can we request exclusivity?

Businesses who work with hummingbirds understand that this is a relationship game. While we can certainly track conversions using specific promo codes + clicks with UTM codes, our clients understand they can leverage the visibility and buzz they get for months and years to come. Give hummingbirds an experience to talk about, and gain loyal customers for life.

What is the ROI?

We create a simple “partnership overview” with timeline expectations, the perk they will receive, brand considerations, and social media assets to tag (including hashtags). We track them internally to ensure execution occurs by deadline.

How do hummingbirds know what to do?

All of our hummingbirds know to share direct feedback with Brand Launch versus posting something negative about their experience. We provide this as feedback directly to the business owner.

We provide photography for an additional fee. We know that hummingbirds love posting high quality images of themselves + their community, so we advise adding photography to any package. You also have access to all images to use!

We always overcommit the birds engaging in partnership with you to ensure if a hummingbird is ill or life circumstances change, you’ll still get the number of birds we’ve committed to.

What if a hummingbird doesn't follow through?

What if a hummingbird has a negative experience?

Do you provide photography for hummingbird experiences?

Do hummingbirds get paid?

Depending on how many hummingbirds you want to work with and the complexity of the campaign, our rates start at $399 per month for our membership and one-time cost start cost of $1000.

Hummingbirds show up for perks. If you provide an amazing perk or experience, our hummingbirds will be motivated to collaborate with you. Examples range from two free frozen pizzas to three months of spa services (valued at $500+ total). You pay Brand Launch to broker the birds and ensure execution, tracking, and coverage.

what is the cost to work with you?

They are called a charm! This is why you’ll see the word charm throughout the website and our core offerings.

What is a group of hummingbirds called?

frequently asked questions

"Growing up in Central Iowa, I've witnessed the growth and transformation of #DSMUSA and am all in with trying to help it be greater. We're all better when we're in it together with a diverse set of voices and experiences, and I want to be at the table in those conversations. As a small business owner, you have to talk about and promote yourself a lot, so being a Hummingbird is a great opportunity to get out of my own head and use my platform to elevate others."

Get to know some of Des Moines’ hummingbirds + why they are a part of the local charm.


small business owner

"Des Moines is the greatest place. The people are the best. Honestly it was a cool way to do some of what I was already doing for things and places that I had great experiences at, but instead of doing it myself I got to team with other like-minded people and it made it way better. Also, anything that Whitney and Emily touch turns to gold, so if they want to do something I'll automatically sign up."

jacob repp

des moines enthusiast

"Des Moines helped me find my true "me" and I want others to discover more about themselves through the best our amazing community has to offer!"

karla walsh

Freelance Writer and Restaurant Marketer

I love connecting people to what gives them joy. Whether it is a collaboration that they can be a part of, and event or hidden spot they've yet to try, or an organization or person that could shift the path of their life moving forward. Des Moines has so much to offer, you just have to know the right places to look. I love uncovering new people, places, and viewpoints of Des Moines.

kelsey russell

Realtor + Wealth Builder