In the wild, ever-evolving realm of social media, where likes and follows hold the power to shape destinies (or at least self-esteem levels), a new species has emerged: the influencer. With perfectly curated feeds and an uncanny ability to make avocado toast look like a work of art, these digital darlings have become the epitome of coolness.
But behind every seemingly effortless #OOTD and sponsored post lies an intriguing question: Do all influencers have a manager? Join us as we delve into this enigmatic world of charismatic content creators and their managerial counterparts, uncovering whether these internet sensations are steering their own ships or if they’ve got someone else manning the Instagram helm. Buckle up, dear readers – it’s about to get influencer-ific!
What types of tasks does an Influencer Manager perform?
Ah, the maestro of the social media symphony, the influencer manager! Picture this: they’re the puppeteer behind the digital puppets, the wizard behind the Instagram curtain. Think of them as the fairy godparent of online influence, turning mere mortals into social media royalty.
These maestros don’t just sip lattes and scroll through feeds all day (well, maybe I do a bit). No, no! We’re the architects of brand collaborations, the strategic thinkers plotting the next viral conquest. It’s like a game of chess, but instead of kings and queens, you’ve got influencers and brand collabs and us, negotiating as well as we possibly can!
In the grand circus of social media, influencer managers are the air traffic control masters, responding quickly to any inbound request from a brand that’s interested in working with one of our talent. We get all the project details, we negotiate rates, SOW (scope of work), usage rights and exclusivity. We read agreements and then once the project is a yes, get our talent the messaging briefs to create the content. We’re unsung heroes working behind the scenes, navigating the jungle of agreements, content due dates and messaging briefs.
We’re not just managers; we’re strategic thought leaders with our clients , choreographing the dance of authenticity and brand alignment, ensuring the brand is happy. We’re also our client’s biggest cheerleaders, hypewoman and therapists….because let’s be honest, some Influencer Marketing is a un-sexy grind! Yes, we wear many hats. It’s a balancing act that makes spinning plates look easy.
So, the next time you see a brand and influencer waltzing seamlessly on your timeline, tip your hat to the influencer manager who might have just made that brand collab happen. We’re definitely the unsung heroes of the digital era, turning pixels into magic and influencers into kings and queens of the online realm.
Why You Need An Influencer Manager
You might be thinking to yourself “I can do all those things so why would I even need an influencer manager?” That’s a great question. Perhaps you don’t need one. Us influencer managers aren’t for everyone.
Maybe you are realizing that you’re dropping the ball on opportunities because you don’t have time to hang out in your emails and DMs all day. Are you leaving money on the table when negotiating? Perhaps you’re ready to streamline what you do and bring someone else onto your team to help you grow your work with brand deals? Then consider working with a manager.
It’s worth noting there are a lot of people who have a hugely successful influencer marketing business and don’t work with an influencer management agency.
Working with a manager isn’t for everyone. As far as I know, most influencers doing brand collaborations online, across digital marketing platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok, don’t have a manager.
When you look more closely at individual influencers, it’s worth noting who is doing enough brand deals to make it worthwhile for both the influencer and the manager.
How much does an Influencer Manager cost?
Your influencer talent manager will earn between 10-20% of the brand deals they close on your behalf. It means that our success is inherently tied to yours. If you aren’t earning a certain amount of paid brand collabs (my threshold is $100,000 / 12 months) I don’t know if it’s worth it to have a manager.
I wrote much more on this topic in this article “How much does an influencer agent cost?” You have to make sure the math works out for both of you. Us managers also have a business to run. We need to ensure that we’re partnering with influencers that help us grow and support our business.
Us managers tend to work with four different payment structures. I reference them in the article above but I’ll give you the quick and dirty overview here.
- Flat fee
- Hybrid of retainer and commission
A commission is probably the most standard payment method you’ve heard of. We earn 10-20%, which is pretty standard, of the paid brand deals we close for our clients. I close a brand deal for $10,000 for you and I earn $2,000. Pretty straightforward and very common in this industry.
A retainer is a set amount of money every month or a predetermined length of time that you pay your manager for a set list of responsibilities. This could include pitching, invoicing, client admin, social media management and more.
Flat fee is a one time payment for one thing. This could be having an influencer manager audit your social media accounts or paying a lawyer a one time fee to look at one agreement.
A hybrid of a retainer and commission is becoming more and more standard in this industry. I do it for the first 3 months of bringing a new talent onto my roster. Along with that retainer, I drop my commission to 10% on all the brand deals I close during that time. You can read more about why I do that hybrid model here on my FAQs page about working with Johanna.
How to Find A Manager as An Influencer
Once you’ve decided that you’re interested in having an influencer manager, where to find one of us? Embarking on the quest to find the perfect influencer talent manager is like searching for a diamond in the vast, glittering landscape of social media. It’s like searching for that oh-so-elusive #ad on sponsored content! (Shady influencers, I’m looking at you!)
Start your journey by delving into the digital jungle, exploring platforms like LinkedIn, where many influencer managers showcase their expertise. Look for profiles that share about past successful collaborations and testimonials, a testament to our magic touch. Instagram is another great place to search for influencer talent agents. Personally I’ve noticed that not as many talent managers create content for their brand on social media (I sure do and use my platform strictly for that. Here’s an example, one from Day of the Dead brand collabs and a brand testimonial). So you might have to search through a lot before you can find some helpful leads.
You can also use the search function in instagram to look specifically for “influencer agent” or “Influencer manager”.
Networking events and industry conferences are treasure troves, offering a chance to meet these elusive wizards in person, witness their spellbinding skills, and forge connections that transcend the digital realm. Look at conference agendas and see who is speaking. Reach out to workshops and events that bring in Influencer Talent Managers to speak to the group.
Don’t underestimate the power of recommendations – tap into the grapevine of influencers who’ve found their social media fairy godparents and inquire about their experiences. Your favorite influencer? Slide into their DMs and ask if they work with a manager. Join facebook groups and ask for recommendations from others.
Remember, the ideal manager not only understands the art of brand synergy and influencer alchemy but also possesses a knack for navigating the ever-changing currents of the digital tide. So, gear up, explorer of the influencer frontier, and may you discover the manager whose wand (or smartphone) holds the key to unlocking social media stardom.
Want more insight on finding an Influencer Manager? I wrote this article for you : How to find an Influencer Agent.
The benefits of having an Influencer Manager
Having the right manager for you on your team can be hugely beneficial. A skilled influencer manager acts as a compass, guiding you as an influencer through the intricate landscape of negotiations, brand collaborations, and strategic decisions. We provide on our insight into ensuring agreements CYA, what appropriate rates and SOWs are along with helping to present you as a great brand ambassador in a way that you can’t. It’s always easier to have someone else hype you up right?
For the unmanaged influencer, the challenges can range from wrestling with the intricacies of deal structures and contracts to juggling administrative tasks that divert creative energy. A manager serves as a shield, deflecting potential pitfalls and allowing influencers to focus on what they do best – creating compelling content. Oftentimes I’m a buffer between my client the influencer and a needy or demanding brand. It’s much easier for me to put my foot down and say no to a request than you the Influencer can.
With a manager in their corner, influencers often gain a competitive edge, benefiting from the manager’s industry insights, negotiation prowess, and extensive network of brand connections. Because I’ve been doing this for quite some time now, every week I have agencies contact me directly with casting calls. I’ve established myself in this industry as someone who has a good roster and also someone who has a great network and will make connections.
Beyond the tactical advantages, having a manager can elevate an influencer’s status, opening doors to exclusive opportunities and ensuring they navigate the tumultuous waves of the digital landscape with finesse. In essence, a manager becomes the indispensable ally, transforming the influencer’s journey from a solo adventure into a collaborative success story.
Pro tip : We go further together.
Things An Influencer Should Look For in a Manager
A lot of what you’re looking for in your manager is personal but there’s a few things that I think all managers should have an intimate understanding of and value. Selecting the right influencer manager is a crucial decision that can significantly impact an influencer’s trajectory. A discerning influencer should prioritize several key attributes when considering a potential manager.
First and foremost, compatibility is paramount – your manager should align with the influencer’s values, goals, and vision for their brand. If you’re looking at a boutique talent management agency, like mine, it’s important to really like each other. You’ll ideally be spending a lot of time together – on the phone, on brand calls and maybe even hanging out IRL. I always say, if a talent of mine is calling me, I want to be excited to pick that phone up. Not dread it. And that works both ways.
A successful manager should boast a proven track record, showcasing a portfolio of successful collaborations and a knack for navigating the dynamic digital landscape. Does the person you’re speaking with have success in closing deals and negotiating on behalf of their roster? Look into how long they’ve been doing this and how well they do it. A great thing to do that I always recommend, is speak to others on their roster.
Transparency is non-negotiable; an effective manager communicates openly about strategies, deals, and potential challenges. Will your manager share contacts with you and include you on briefing calls or emails? Not all influencers want that but you should have access to the Influencer Talent Manager’s network, if nothing else the contacts that you have worked with on brand deals. Industry connections and a robust network are invaluable assets, allowing the influencer access to a diverse array of brand partnerships.
Furthermore, a manager’s negotiation skills and understanding of the ever-evolving trends in the influencer space are critical for securing favorable deals. How clued is in your Influencer Manager to what’s happening in the industry? How strong is their network of agency and brand contacts? Are they great at building relationships?
Last but not least, a supportive and collaborative approach is essential – the ideal manager acts as a partner in the influencer’s journey, fostering an environment that nurtures creativity and long-term success. This is a person who will help you on your influencer journey, just as you will help them. How invested are they in your business and brand? Are they your biggest cheerleader?
Do all influencers have a manager FAQs
What is the hourly rate for an influencer manager?
Us managers don’t work or charge by the hour. We charge a commission on the brand deal that we close for our talent. You can read more on that here : How do Influencer Agents get paid?
How do social media influencers get brand deals?
There’s a lot that goes into social media influencers getting brand deals. First and foremost the social media influencer has to have a solid product. What I mean by this is, is it super clear on who and how you serve? Put another way, what’s the value you bring to the table? Why does your audience keep coming back to your social media platforms?
Social media influencers that get brand deals have high quality content. They are consistently creating content that’s of value and catches a brand’s eye. A lot of these influencers use hashtags to be noticed by a brand and have profiles in an influencer platform database such as Tagger or creatorIQ.
I wrote more on How to collab with brands here.
Do social media influencers suffer from narcissistic personality disorder?
Not all of them, but yes, some of them definitely suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder.