Influencer marketing is bound to become a 5-10 billion dollar market in the next few years and with PR agencies recognizing that influencers are here to stay, many are starting to branch out and open up their own talent management divisions. Take Rock It Promotions and Fourth Floor Management, Shine PR with their Shine Influencers and many more, whose influencer rosters currently dominate the industry.
Supply and demand go hand-in-hand. So as the demand for influencers grow, so does the population of influencers to fulfill that demand. However it is important to note that large followers on Instagram, though may be impressive, don’t necessarily always lead to building long-lasting brand-to-influencer relationships, or even fairly compensated work. With many metrics falling into consideration when pitching a brand, influencers must take the time to get familiar with – and study – their platforms’ analytics, follower count and ROI in order to ensure that they get the most out of their brand deals. And while writing the perfect pitch, accompanied by a media kit and a rate card, is the equivalent of handing over a business card in the world of a digital influencer, many don’t know their own worth and can easily end up underselling themselves or being taken advantage of.
As the blogger community expands, and more brands are looking to hire content creators, the competition is getting stiffer and there are some factors coming into play, that can easily overwhelm even the most experienced. Both influencers and brands undergo a plethora of corporate procedures, while settling financial manners, signing NDAs and understanding the importance of building transparent relationships; that’s why both sides – bloggers and brands – prefer to go through a talent agency to easily coordinate and manage their contracts, while ensuring they pitch – and land – the right influencer in the process. There are, of course, benefits to this approach:
Influencers can surely get the most out of their collaborations with brands, by working with a talent agency. Influencer managers have already built solid relationships with a large roster of brands and are aware of each client’s campaign, goal, budget and overall expectations. When an influencer chooses to work with a brand directly, they run the chance of missing out on the types of services they could offer a brand. Talent agencies – however – are able to recognize both the brand’s need AND the blogger’s ability to take a product and pique the interest of their audience, while offering a wider range of opportunities to both parties: a single sponsored post for a brand can lead to a long-lasting ambassador program, a public relations campaign, and even event appearances. These are all opportunities that a blogger may not be able to negotiate on their own.
A Plethora of Choices
When approaching a talent agency, brands ensure that they get access to as many bloggers as they’d need to, subsequently ensuring exposure to a variety of audiences and gaining understanding of each influencer’s history of campaigns, experiences, rates, ROI and more. Working with an agency is further ideal to brands, advertisers, and other marketing agencies, who have particular expectations of a campaign. The talent manager has knowledge of the influencer and their overall brand, can gauge whether a campaign is the right fit, act as an advisor to both brand and blogger of interest, and – of course – ensure that proper compensation is in place. Ultimately, a talent manager will ensure that a first-time collaboration is a stepping stone to building a long-lasting relationship.
Minimize Time and Effort
Influencers can largely benefit from joining a talent agency, especially those who tend to carry on a full-time job, balance a variety of projects and strive to maintain a list of brands that they work with on a long-term basis. Agencies take care of both new and unresolved business matters, manage financial obligations, pitch new brands on behalf of their influencer, provide key metrics, and overall, act as main negotiators and advocate for both brand and influencer, ensuring that the right match is made.
Whether you’re a new influencer or one who has established a name within the industry, a talent agency is the right route to take, if a career in the industry is what you seek. One thing to remember is that you’re building a brand and you must be aware of the opportunities that you should take or turn down, so that you can continue to build a consistent online presence, while maintaining a distinct voice that your audience can identify with.
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Raya is a Bulgarian-born, internationally-bred lifestyle blogger who has immense love for good music and tacos. She is an aspiring writer with an affinity for hip hop [auto]biographies, who is always on a search for the next graffiti wall and can be found on Instagram under @stylecontroversy. Raya is a member of #ThePaidCrew editorial team.