In January 2021, Business Insider estimated that the influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022, up from as much as $8 billion in 2019. With so much money to be invested, many influencers are treading water trying to keep up with the waterfall of brand opportunities flooding their inboxes. These same influencers could potentially benefit from researching talent managers.
I’ve been active on the Clubhouse app since December 2020 and am often asked to moderate or speak in rooms to share advice and insight based on my role leading FYI Talent Management, a division of Find Your Influence. The question I hear most often from influencers is how do I know if I’m ready for management? My response to that question is often a series of questions in return.
- Are you a full-time content creator/influencer?
- Does managing your inbox and reviewing contracts consume the time you would otherwise be creating content?
- Do you feel like you’re bursting at the seams and can’t do it all?
The idea of working with a talent manager or representative, remains opaque to many social media influencers. Recently, I sat down with two other talent managers with FYI Talent Management to dig in and get to the bottom of many of these outstanding questions that may help influencers as they consider and/or begin looking for management.
What do FYI Talent Managers do?
“I’ve been working as a talent manager for three years and the biggest value that I try to bring to the influencers I manage is negotiating the best rate that not only serves the influencer, but is also fair to the brand,” explains Chelsea Goodson, Director of Influencer Management with Find Your Influence. “I’ve managed nearly 300 brand deals for our talent and I’m so proud to see their earning potential grow exponentially every year.”
In addition to managing all inbound offers and contract negotiations, FYI Talent Managers also create electronic press kits (EPK) for each influencer to share with brands and agencies. These EPK’s, or media kits, highlight the influencer, describe their audience, past partnerships and media coverage, all to demonstrate their value to the next brand.
“Before I signed on with a manager, I spent most of my days negotiating campaigns on my own and reading lengthy contracts,” recalls Alicia Tenise, a lifestyle and fashion blogger. “Now that I work with a management team, I have more time to actually create content, interact with my followers, and to build my business. Plus, FYI Talent treats me like family. They’re always there when I need them, and have given me invaluable guidance with brand deals.”
How many followers do I need before I should consider management?
With FYI Talent Management, there is not a specific number of followers an influencer must have before they are considered for management. “For us, follower count is a nice to have but not a need to have,” says Ben Goldman, Brand Coordinator & Talent Manager with Find Your Influence. “When we evaluate influencers to add to our roster, it’s often about their credibility, commitment and passion for their work.”
More often than not, brands are measuring an influencer’s performance on their engagement rate, not necessarily their follower count. An influencer’s engagement rate is measured by taking the average number of interactions on a post (likes plus comments) and dividing it by the total number of followers. An average engagement rate is between two and three percent.
How do talent managers get paid?
Talent managers are often paid a set commission based on the deals they negotiate for the talent they manage. Industry standard rates for talent managers vary between 15% and 20%.
“Anytime we speak with creators who are interested in management, we want to be very clear that they need to feel comfortable having up to 20% of their earnings go to their manager in exchange for the work they are getting support on,” says Goodson, an influencer herself.
Jane Ko has been blogging for more than a decade and in 2015, found herself hitting a wall. “I’ve been blogging since 2010 and when I started doing it full time in 2015, I just knew that I needed to look to management when I was pulling off the side of the road to take calls with brands and signing contracts on my laptop,” Ko remembers. “I sought out Find Your Influence and I was the first talent that they signed! Since then my revenue has grown 2 – 3x.”
Considering management is a big step in the journey of an influencer. Researching, interviewing and engaging with a manager shouldn’t be a quick decision. Invest your time in finding an individual or a team of individuals who want you to succeed just as much as you do. And look forward to taking back your time to do what you do best – create.
To learn more about FYI Talent Management or inquire about working with our team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.