“It is really exciting to get to work with talent who I would have watched or looked up to when I was younger.”
Find Your Influence is more than just the industry’s first SaaS platform to scale influencer marketing programs. It also boasts a talent division representing some of the industry’s top social media influencers. FYI Talent Management boasts a series of talent managers who work with talent booking, Advertising and PR agencies to skillfully represent, guide, secure and execute deals for social media’s top-tier influencers across all platforms. And FYI Talent Management operates with a series of Talent Managers.
Katie White joined FYI Talent Management in September 2018 as a Talent Manager. A 22-year old graduate of Arizona State University, social media has been embedded in Katie’s life since she was 13. She even spent a semester studying abroad in Brighton, England because an influencer she follows on YouTube, Alfie Deyes, lives there and described it as one of the happiest places on Earth.
On Wednesday, May 29, I spoke with Katie to learn more about her and her role as a Talent Manager. This is our chat:
Who was the first influencer you remember following?
I remember following Elle Fowler on YouTube when I was 13.
Before ‘influencer’ was a term, I was following people on YouTube who told stories that resonated with me. At that time, I was searching for a video to show me how to apply press-on nails. Elle was on the sixth page of the search results. No one was showing me how to put the nail on (take it out of package, glue it, stick it on and then show that it stayed on) but Elle did. YouTube was (and still is) my TV.
What influencer do you keep up with daily (who is not already on the FYI Talent roster)?
I follow Jaci Marie Smith across all of her platforms, including her podcast. She is my age and is also from Arizona. The reason I like her is that her Instagram feed is beautiful, flawless really. However, if you follow her Instagram stories, podcast or her YouTube, you see she is so relatable and funny. She breaks the blogger barrier for me. I feel like I know her as a real person because of her Instagram stories. There was this one time she documented getting a bad spray tan and posted about it over a 48-hour period. I feel like we just connect. I’m envious of her life and yet it feels really attainable.
Becoming a Talent Manager isn’t really something you thought of doing while you were in college, was it?
Being a Talent Manager was never something I dreamed I could be doing at 22. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Graphic Information Technology from Arizona State University. Because I’ve been so invested in following influencers for more than a decade, I also had a focus on photography and videography in hopes of one day possibly working for an influencer.
I’ve been following influencers before influencer marketing was a tactic. I grew up with many of these people. They were my TV and my celebrities. When the financial aspect started coming in and influencing became a business, I knew I wanted to be part of this ecosystem.
How do you explain what a Talent Manager is to your grandma?
I’ve told my grandma that Jennifer Aniston has a manager and I do the same for people who are digital-first talent.
What goals does a Talent Manager have each month?
My goals are to identify and sign new talent who have the potential to grow and expand their brand. I want to make sure I’m bringing value to the talent whether that’s getting them a large brand deal they are really excited about or working with them to further their business. I’ve helped talent with everything from improving SEO on their blog to setting up their first LLC. It’s important to me that I’m adding value in all aspects of their brand.
What brings you the most joy as a Talent Manager?
It is really exciting to get to work with talent who I would have watched or looked up to when I was younger. I love working with Keegan Acton because she is exactly what I watched when I was growing up. Watching her grind and work really hard and knowing that I can help guide her gives me a great sense of accomplishment.
What frustrates you the most as a Talent Manager?
It’s frustrating when companies don’t see the value of engaging an influencer but would pay an exorbitant amount of money without a second thought for a television commercial during a major sporting event. I wish they would take the time to more fully understand influencers and how their followers can directly impact their target audience.
If you were hiring another Talent Manager, what qualities would you look for in a candidate?
When we hire the next Talent Manager, we will be looking for someone with a passion for social media and the influencer marketing industry. Being a self-starter is a must. If you don’t want to get up and help influencers everyday, this won’t be the right fit.
As a Talent Manager, it’s important you maintain your own social presence too. Where can people follow you?
And what about Riley? 🙂
Yes, I am also a Talent Manager to my rescue dog, Riley.