How do I start an Influencer Talent Agency?

Embarking on the journey of starting an influencer management agency feels like stepping into a vibrant universe where creativity & collaboration take center stage. Imagine a blend of strategic thinking, a genuine passion for digital influence, and a sprinkle of entrepreneurial spirit.

 As I reflect on the early days of beginnings as an Influencer Talent Agent, I’m reminded of the moments when the idea took root. It was all sparked by two days with one woman. More on that! So, pull up a seat as we dive into the intricacies of establishing your very own influencer management agency. This experience promises not only professional fulfillment but also an intriguing exploration into the ever-evolving landscape of online influence. This is going to be a very personal article, written directly from my experience, and heavily influenced (of course!) by all the questions others ask me about “how do I start an influencer agency.” Let’s go!

I didn’t set out to have an Influencer Talent Agency. No, that’s not how this business came about. I joke now that the Universe wanted me to be an Influencer Talent Agent. The Universe was metaphorically hitting me with 2×4” until I finally got the clue. Now that I have an Influencer Talent Management Agency, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. 

I’ll keep it short but the backstory is relevant. I get asked all the time how I started my Influencer talent agency. In January 2011, I was living in Barcelona and desperately needed to make money. I had recently travelled around the world backpacking for a year and now set up shop in Barcelona. I was teaching English but truthfully hated it. I was looking for an opportunity to use my brain, contribute to the greater good and earn more.

So I became a nutrition coach for women running half marathons. I would schedule all my clients for a Saturday, at a friend’s house who had better internet than I did. During the work I’d create online programs and market myself. And with that, I became an entrepreneur without intending or planning to. I honestly just needed to make more money. 

That chapter of my life transitioned me to doing Fractional COO + strategy work with small, service based online businesses. Companies would hire me PT for a set amount of time to help them run their business. I also had a 2 day strategy session intensive. In those 2 days, I would do a deep dive into someone’s business and be another set of eyes and ears on it.

A woman named Lorraine Ladish reached out to me & scheduled a strategy session intensive in May of 2017. I flew down to Florida and spent a couple days with her. Truthfully it was my first time meeting an Influencer and speaking with her about her business. We spoke about how it operated, what she charged for, what her rates were etc.

While I was down there, 2 opportunities reached out to her to partner. In response, she asked me to moonlight as her manager and answer them. So I did, asking for about 3x more than she would have (we had just gone over her rates that day so in my mind, it was just math). 

Both of those campaign opportunities said yes and that set us on a path to work together as Influencer & manager. When I left our session to return to Colorado, she asked me to be her manager and I said yes. More on that later. 

Lorraine Ladish Johanna Voss
Lorraine Ladish & I, December 2023

Why did I want to be an Influencer talent manager?

Honestly, I didn’t know exactly what the role entailed when I said yes to Lorraine. At a very high level I understood the concept of a manager. More so related to a sports star or an actor. Managers or agents negotiate deals and help one with their brand/business as another set of eyes and ears. 

At my core, I’m a cheerleader (enneagram 7 anyone?) & have always been a big advocate for others. Influencers were a new thing to me and I love being challenged to expand my knowledge. That was very appealing. It wasn’t that I specifically wanted to be an Influencer Talent Manager per se. What I understood the role to be, were skill sets that I had. It was something new to me at the time, which was appealing. 

What you don’t know about me yet but is relevant to the success I’ve had in this role, is this. At this point of partnering up with Lorraine in 2017,I had had a career working on political campaigns for 8 years under my belt. I worked on 2 presidential campaigns along with every political position in between. I had lived abroad three times in Spain while also backpacking around the world for a year.  I’d also been running my own business for 6+ years. Where am I going with this? 

By this point, I had a set of skills that served me very well & set me up to be a successful Influencer Talent Agent. 

Influencer Marketing Skills

  • I am not afraid to ask for help
  • I’ve been selling and marketing others and myself for decades
  • I do well with the unknown & not knowing things
  • I ask a lot of questions (if you know me, you know how true this rings! 
  • I am very comfortable talking about money 
  • I’m very organized.
  • My brain can see the big picture while never losing sight of the details and what actually has to happen day to day
  • I’m quite communicative
  • I give direction and feedback well

Why do you want to work in Influencer Marketing?

This is a great question to ponder as you begin your journey of starting an Influencer Talent Management Agency. Assuming you don’t have any prior experience in this industry, either as a creator or on the brand/agency side, why on earth do you want to get into influencer marketing?!

I kid I kid! I do love it for so many reasons & it’s worth figuring out what elements appeal to you about this line of work. 

What I love about being an Influencer Talent Agent:

  • I love the people aspect of it. It’s really invigorating to me to play such an important role in the growth and success of people I care deeply about. 
  • There’s no one typical day. Everyday is truly different. I could be on the phone all day working through inquiries from agencies, confirming concepts with the brand or talking through timing and logistics with my clients. Another day I could be on emails all day. And yet, another day doing podcast interviews, speaking at a conference or spending time with my clients. 
  • I love being a cheerleader for my clients. It’s in my nature (enneagram 7’s anyone?) and I love hyping up my clients in rooms and conversations they aren’t in. 
  • I love negotiating. Truly. It’s so much fun & I get great pleasure out of it. Not to mention, it’s a fantastic skill to have that serves me well in life. 
  • I get to pick my clients and create my ideal job. I choose who I work with, spend time with and pour into. 
  • I decide how I spend my day. I’ve never worked a traditional job nor had a traditional boss. I wouldn’t even know what to do with myself working corporate. I heard a quote once “you’re either working on your dream or someone else’s.” I don’t care how hard my days might be At the end of the day, I get to reap the benefits of all my hard work, not somebody else. 
  • I absolutely adore my network of other badass women (and a few guys!) who are in Influencer Marketing & are so incredibly helpful. 
  • I’m good at giving direction to people. It’s an interesting situation to be in, to have people look up to you and expect you to have answers. All the answers it seems at times!
  • I love  that Influencer Marketing keeps me on my toes. I’ve got to learn new skills, stay up to date on industry news and generally not be complacent. 
  • It’s a delightful marriage of my skill set – strong negotiation skills, super organized, ease at connecting with people, curious mindset to ask helpful, informative questions & ability to meet each occasion that presents itself. 

I wrote this article “What does an Influencer Talent Manager do” that will give you some more insight into, well, what we do. It’s so much more than you think!

Johanna Voss Influencer talent management agency
Some of my clients and I on a retreat. L-R Ismail Mpiana, me, Yvette Marquez, Shaunda Necole, Jessica Serna, Lorraine Ladish

What you need to know before starting an Influencer Talent Agency

When you partner with someone to be their Influencer Talent Agent or Manager, they are putting a lot of trust into you. They are handing over their business baby for you to watch over, take care of and nurture. This is NOTHING to be taken lightly. 

As an Influencer Talent Agent, you are responsible for being their voice, their advocate and their biggest cheerleader in rooms and conversations they aren’t privy to.

You are responsible for positioning them as a great brand collaboration partner and to make the case as to why a brand should partner with them.

The creators on your roster look to you for guidance, sage wisdom, strategic insight & perspective on a range of things :

  • how to grow their brand
  • how to get over an influencer slump
  • how to manage their mental health
  • what to do when they are creatively burned out
  • how to go after their ideal brand collaboration partners
  • how to turn down projects without closing the door on future ones
  • how to put their foot down to pushy brands
  • how to upsell a gifted or trade opportunity into a paid one and so much more.

You are reading agreements on their behalf and advising them where to sign as is, approve some redlines or if you can negotiate different terms. These are agreements that speak to whether a brand can use the influencer’s image and likeness in perpetuity, on billboards or digital ads for the rest of time. If you miss those details and your creator signs, that could have lasting, drastic consequences and financial implications to your client’s brand and your influencer talent management agency. 

Don’t forget that when you start an Influencer Talent Management Agency, you are starting a proper business. You have to follow all the federal, state and local guidelines about how to set up your business structure, fill out the appropriate paperwork, sometimes annually, pay all the right taxes on time & represent yourself in good faith.

I can’t speak to what that means for you because every state and city has different rules and regulations. I live in Denver, CO and there’s a whole host of things I have to do monthly and annually to stay in good standing with the city and state. 

Make sure to do your due diligence, not just asking your entrepreneur friends what they do. You also need to check with your Secretary of State, an accredited Tax person & accountant who is familiar with your industry, online businesses and your geographic area. 

It will cost you money to start a business. To file paperwork, to set your business structure, to get an Employee Identification Number aka EIN and so on. 

Don’t take this lightly. As I mentioned before, you’re not just responsible for representing your business well but also that of your client’s. Once you become their manager, you’re inherently tied together. 

Laura Muller Johanna Voss Influencer Talent Management
My client Laura Muller and I, at an agency retreat, September 2022

Another thing that is absolutely worth mentioning when you start an Influencer Talent Management Agency is your finances. Specifically,  how are you keeping yourself afloat at the beginning of getting this agency going? You need to have a decent sized nest egg that you can use to cover your expenses, including paying yourself, while things are building. 

If you’re lucky enough to partner with talent who has a lot of inbound requests and you’re able to close deals for them quickly, it will be a while before you see that money.  

For example, let’s say you close a deal in January for $5,000. The first wave of content goes live at the end of February and another wave is posted mid-March. The creator’s analytics (their metrics and measurement on the engagement etc of their content) gets turned in a week later. 

This signals that the creator’s obligations are now fulfilled and an invoice can be sent. It’s now the end of March and the project is net 30 (hopefully). This means you and your creator won’t be paid, assuming it’s not late (FYI 90% of the time, payment is late) until the end of April….for a project you closed in February. 

I’ve signed multiple five figure agreements that I can’t split into 50% upon signing and 50% upon completion of deliverables. And the deliverables won’t be done posting until months after my talent signs. And the agreement might be net 45 or 60 (we desperately try to avoid or negotiate that but sometimes you can’t). And then again, payment might be late. 

How do you invoice a brand as an Influencer?

There are two ways your Influencer Talent Management Agency can set up invoicing. 

The first way is that you, the Influencer Talent Management Agency, invoice the brands and agencies on your creator’s behalf. This means that you, the Management Agency sends the invoice to the brand collaboration partner for the full amount of the project. Once you the Talent Management Agency receive payment on that invoice, you pay the creator their 80% assuming you earn 20%. Do the math. .

The other way to invoice a brand is to have the invoice come directly from each creator to the specific brand collaboration partner. The Influencer sends the invoice to the brand agency and the Influencer Talent Manager sends their invoice for their services to the Influencer. Once the Influencer has received payment from the brand, they then pay the Influencer Talent Manager their 20% commission. 

The second option is how I have set up my business. My influencers send their own invoices to the brand. Then at the end of each month, I send an invoice to each of my Influencers for all the projects we did that month. 

The projects on the invoices I send to my influencers, reflect the invoices they sent out that month for completed projects. 

I send out my invoices at the end of each month, mirroring what projects were completed that same month.

For example, my influencer competes (2) campaign projects in the month of October, one project for $12,500 dollars and a 50% payment of $10,000 upon signing an agreement for another project worth $20,000. My invoice on October 31, would be $2500 for the $12,500 project and $2,000 for the first installment of $10,000. 

There’s no right or wrong way to set your Influencer Talent Management Agency up when it comes to invoicing. That’s how I set mine up when I started and that’s what I’m still doing years later. 

It’s worth noting that if you have Influencers who are disorganized with money or are often on the road so there could be campaign checks sitting in their mailbox, it might be in your best interest to do it the first way. This way you can ensure you get paid first and don’t have to track down payments from your influencers. 

Jessica Serna Johanna Voss Influencer Talent Management
My client Jessica Serna and I at an agency retreat, Sept 2022

How much do Influencer agents make?

There’s a couple different ways that we earn our money. Flat fee, retainer, commission and a hybrid model of commission and retainer.

I start off any new Influencer Talent on a hybrid model for the first 90 days. It’s a monthly retainer + 10% on any deals that we come in those first three months. Then starting month 4, I move to straight 20%. You can read more about my retainer and why I structure it this way on my FAQs page

A number of other boutique talent management agencies maintain a roster for the duration of their work with their talent.  It’s not a model I’ve chosen but to each their own. It’s definitely worth figuring out which model you want to go with.

Along with figuring out what your business model is, you’ll also want to figure out what % commission you’ll earn on the deals that you close for your clients. I earn 20% which I feel is quite industry standard. I’ve seen everything from 10-30%, all depending on what it is the Influencer Talent Agent does for their clients.

Once you decide, be upfront and open about it on your website. Make sure you talk about it with any and all prospective clients. You do NOT want any confusion about how you earn money. Be sure that the creator is aligned with that. 

If you are going with the retainer model for the duration of your relationship with the creator, figure out what services you are providing to them for that monthly retainer. 

I’ve got a lot more to say about “How do Influencer Agents get paid?” which I wrote about here.  

How does an influencer agent get paid
How does an influencer agent get paid

How much does an Influencer Agent cost : A comprehensive guide

Determining the cost of hiring an influencer agent involves navigating through a spectrum of factors, each contributing to the overall investment. Typically, us influencer agents charge a percentage of the deals or contracts we secure for our clients, with commissions ranging from 10% to 20%. Industry standard is 20%. 

The specific percentage may vary based on the agent’s experience, the scope of services offered, and the influencers they represent. Always ask! It’s crucial to have transparent discussions with potential clients to explain your fee structure, any additional costs involved, and the value you bring to the table. 

Ultimately, the cost of an influencer agent is an investment in expertise, industry connections, and the potential for lucrative partnerships that can significantly boost an influencer’s career.

You also want to be clear on what projects of the Influencer you will be involved in.

 For example, I strictly earn my commission from brand deals & speaking engagements that I close. I don’t touch affiliate income, book advances, e-book or book sales, online courses, ad revenue or products. 

You can pretty much expect that to be standard, unless you are directly involved in those collaborations and projects. Guaranteed an Influencer will not want to compensate you for anything that you didn’t make happen. Don’t feel that you have to get your hands into everything. Do the things you are responsible for,  and do them well. 

I wrote a longer article here about “How much does an Influencer Agent cost : A comprehensive guide.”

How do influencer managers get paid
My clients and I in Denver, Sept 2022 L-R Laura Muller, me, Yvette Marquez, Jessica Serna

What influencer niches or verticals do you want to work in? 

You’re going to be eating, sleeping and living this content as you look at it for approval and concepting it out with your clients. I’d encourage you to think about themes you like. Do you have to care? No, but I do think it’s worth picking an area of interest and starting there.

For example, I’m not interested in parenting, fashion or beauty content. Not my jam. No particular reason why but I personally don’t desire to work with any creators in that field as the content doesn’t grab my attention. And now that I’ve built my roster and my huge network of agency contacts, my strength in campaign connections falls more into food, travel and lifestyle with a touch of health & wellness. 

Do you want full time influencers vs or influencers who do content creation on the side?

Will your influencers  do this work on the side and have a more traditional 9-5  job or do they do this full time, 100% dedicated to being an influencer? Or are they a stay at home mom and do content creation on the side? There’s pros and cons to each. Honestly, it really depends on the influencer and how they handle their time. For me it gets to how committed, available and motivated they are to be successful with this work.

Should you care about the age of your talent? 

Different generations approach this work, and work in general differently. Different generations on your roster bring different perspectives and skill sets for the entire roster to learn from. That’s not something to be overlooked as I’ve found it to be hugely beneficial to my roster and agency. As I write this I’ve got Lorraine who is very open about her age as my eldest talent on my roster with the Boomer Generation (just barely!).

In turn, Jessica Serna, who is my youngest talent on my roster as a Millennial. The rest of the roster is scattered in ages between those two women. My two bookends as I like to call them.

If you’re bringing on talent and this is their first job or the only work they’ve known because they were born with an iphone in their hand & already online, consider that you may have to take on a heavier life of teaching them about life, being professional & how the world operates. 

I was chatting with another talent manager awhile ago about how we got into this industry. Some of her first creators she signed when they were 15! They got big on Tiktok so not only did she manage their brand collabs but also had to nurture them into adulthood. That would have me running for the hills, but I share because maybe that’s for you? 

Does influencer follower count matter? 

Do you care about your talent’s follower count? Do you want to work with them because you like the idea of having influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers?  Maybe your talent even has celebrity status? Or do you prefer working with influencers with a smaller following?

Again, no right or wrong answer but each profile of influencer comes with its own pros and cons. Personally I think it’s “easier” to find projects and budgets for talent between 50-150k following on Instagram.  Once someone’s following size increases, their engagement rate goes down. That’s just fact. But budgets don’t increase in tandem with an increase in followers. 

The bigger the following of an influencer, it tends to be that they are less connected and engaged one on one with their audience. There seems to be less of a personal touch. Don’t get me wrong, I get it! It’s much harder to reply to 496 comments than it is to 27! 

I wrote this article “How many followers do you need to be an Influencer” which will give you some more perspective on this.

How many followers do you need to be an influencer
How many followers do you need to be an influencer

Do you want to work with someone who is undiscovered or already established?

This is the question I say could make or break your influencer talent management agency in the future. If you partner with someone who is undiscovered, meaning they don’t have a lot of paid brand deals yet, or perhaps need your help earlier in the game to create and grow their brand, it will impact your time and income immediately.

You will be spending a lot of time on them before you see any financial reward. And I don’t mean, influencer payments are net 30 so it will be a month before you’re paid. It could be months and months, even a year before you are even appropriately financially compensated for your time.

Keep in mind that if you’re growing someone’s brand, you won’t be able to charge higher rates. So it may be $1000 for an IG post which, assuming your business model is 20% commission, earns you $200. 

I fully get how when you’re starting your business and you have opportunities to manage people, you say yes! Every entrepreneur has been there when we’ve said yes to opportunities that would very clearly be a no later on. You do what you gotta do to get things off the ground. The hustle is real. I get it. If someone is willing to take a risk on you as you get started, who are you to say no, right?

I would strongly advise that you take that person on with parameters on what it looks like. Lay out a clear set of expectations of what they can expect from you and what you can expect from them.

Pro tip : I highly recommend against taking on a client because they’re your friend, neighbour or your cousin’s best friend and you want to help them.

You have to keep in mind that if you’re launching an influencer talent management agency, you have a business to run. 

You have to pay yourself, pay taxes, pay contractors & monthly operating platforms,  you’ll have overhead etc. You can’t keep the lights on because you want to be nice to someone and help them out.

It’s one of the HARDEST things you might have to do, is saying no to people you adore.

They just won’t understand and they will promise you they’re committed, open to feedback, will take your direction etc and 9/10 it goes sideways. These people will be a time and energy vampire without the financial return you desire.

Should you choose to work with talent that’s already established, in my opinion it’s more beneficial to both of you. You get compensated for your time spent on negotiating for them. They will be able to see the benefit of your hard work and having you on their team.

Us managers are selling a product (the influencer aka content creator). What we are not doing is creating the product (the influencer aka content creator.) From the conversations I have daily with people who would like to be an influencer and inquire in my inbox and DMs about management, this point gets lost. 

Pro tip : A manager does not make someone an influencer.  

Brands and Influencer Marketing Agencies search for talent, not talent managers. 

Brands and Influencer Marketing Agencies use databases to search for talent, not talent managers. 

Which takes me to a larger theme I’d like to address (and honestly needs its own article!).

How to become a full time influencer

Who needs an Influencer talent manager? Who doesn’t need an Influencer talent manager?

Let’s start with who doesn’t need an influencer talent manager as it’s a very easy question to answer. 

You do not need a manager if : 

  • You’ve never done a brand collaboration 
  • You’ver never done a gifted brand collaboration 
  • You’ve never done a paid brand collaboration
  • You don’t have brands or marketing agencies in your inbox wanting to work with you 
  • You don’t have high quality, consistent content (I mean 4+x/week of posting)
  • You have less than 100 posts on your social media channels
  • You have less than 10,000 followers 
  • You have learned less than $75k from brand partnerships in the past 12 months, not including affiliate income 
  • You’re not on any influencer marketing platforms
  • You don’t have a clearly identified brand where it is very obvious who you serve and how you serve 
  • You don’t have content planned out & organized as to how you’re going to get it done
  • You don’t take this seriously and understand it’s a business
  • You aren’t ready to make a time, energy and financial commitment

You do need a manager, or should consider hiring one if :

  • You have a wealth of experience doing paid brand collaborations 
  • You have enough quality inbound campaign requests in your email 
  • You have earned $75k+ in the past 12 months with brand partnerships as a revenue stream (not including affiliate income) 

Let’s talk about the money part of it for a moment. We have to be open to talking about money in this business! As a manager if I do one thing, it’s negotiate deals for my clients. I can talk about money all day, everyday.

To be 100% clear, this isn’t me doing anything other than looking at working with a creator who doesn’t check the financial boxes above, through a business lens.

In the past few years with the rapid rise of this industry, everyone having an amazing camera in their hands thanks to iPhone technology & the traditional ways people have made money for years being broken down, a lot of people want to be influencers.  And it’s hella hard my friends!

The more I get hit up in my DMs’ and inbox (thanks Google for sending ‘em my way), the more and more clear it is that there’s a lot of education to be done about what exactly it is that influencers do and how. There’s a lot of confusion around what managers do. 

what does a talent manager do
What does a talent manager do?

Let’s dive into this a bit more with some math examples. Stay with me now. 

If you’ve brought on a creator who earns $36k/year, that means they average $3k/month. (Yes, I know this industry is up and down but just for the sake of the explanation, let’s roll with it.) You, the manager, would earn your $7200 over the year, making the creator’s take home amount, $28,800.

Assuming you as their manager were able to work your magic and earn 10% more for your client through your negotiation skills, now the creator is earning $39,600. You as their manager would earn yourself $7,920. This makes the creator take home pay for the year equal $31,680. 

If a creator is earning less than $40k annually, I would assume either  their following might be smaller, their engagement needs work, their content needs to be more consistent, more value driven or higher quality. Could be some of those things, could be none.

But all are things that could be contributing to them not being on a brand’s radar. What I’m getting at here is there will be a number of factors at play that all impact how a brand sees them as a collaboration partner. In turn, this impacts your ability to negotiate better for them & earn more for the two of you. 

For a manager to run your sustainable Influencer Talent Management agency, if you have a lot of clients who earn less than $40,000/annually, you would need a lot of them to make your business viable. 

It’s incredibly challenging to pour into someone for a year as their manager and earn ~$7k. It’s not sustainable as a business best practice. Take 20% off the top for taxes, overhead and not much is left. 

This is why I look for clients to be at or around $100k in brand partnership earnings in a year. I earn 20% of that. Take off money for taxes, operating platforms,  overhead etc &  not much is left for my salary. This is why I have to have multiple people on my roster.  

Could you hire staff to help you manage? Sure could but you’d be losing money after paying for that staff overhead and quite possibly not paying yourself well. If a manager isn’t earning enough money and/or resentful about all the time spent on campaigns with little financial reward, this will make you stressed, cranky and overall, not a good manager. The math just isn’t mathing.

The point I’m attempting to make here is that it just doesn’t financially make sense for a manager & creator to partner, until the creator is earning more consistent brand partnerships. 

I’m a one woman show and intend to keep it that way. My time is precious and I’m quite protective about it. This is why I look for clients to be at or around $100k in brand partnership earnings in a year. I earn 20% of that and again, after taxes, overhead etc, not much is left for my salary. This is why I have multiple people on my roster, but not too many that I’m losing my marbles. 

I also have multiple people on my roster because not everyone has their best year every year. Campaigns ebb and flow and clients will be up and down all throughout the year.  I’ve had a client earn $300k in partnerships one year and $30k the next. Having multiple clients hopefully helps insulate you against any major financial pendulum swings in that direction. 

How can I attract clients to my influencer management agency?

Ever heard of the question, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s the same here. Find your first client. From there, find your next. You will learn from each of them who is and isn’t a great fit for you. 

After I signed Lorraine, she shared about me on her social media platforms and I was able to build my agency via word of mouth. To this date, as I write this, I’ve never reached out and pitched myself as a manager to anyone. But what if you don’t have a Lorraine in your corner? How do you build your roster? 

Like-minded individuals tend to gravitate towards each other. Your energy draws in those who resonate with your essence. People find me all the time because of how I show up in this space. Because of what I say on podcasts, on conference stages, on webinars and in my blog posts. They appreciate that I’m very transparent, open and up front. Creators appreciate that I focus on creators of color and advocate for mine and others in the industry. 

I’m consistent, persistent and transparent. I’m very intentional  about who I partner with and as a result of sharing about my clients, people are attracted to how I publicly showcase and praise them, how I show how connected we all are and how we are genuinely having a good time doing this work together. 

Figure out who you want  your first client to be, either by their exact name or their profile. Then get out there into the wilds of the internet and search for them. Don’t be afraid when you find profiles of influencers you like,  if they have management or are open to a conversation.

Influencer talent manager Johanna Voss
Hanging with my clients Lorraine Ladish & Yvette Marquez

Finding and Collaborating with Influencers

Once you start to find prospective talent for your influencer talent management agency, yay! This is exciting. And now the next round of work begins. How do you get them to sign up with you?

I personally have a long interview process before I sign anyone to my agency. I think it’s super important to date and flirt A LOT before we get Influencer+Manager married. 

Here’s why  I flirt a lot. 

I don’t do trials of any length with talent. 

It’s a lot of work to onboard and introduce new talent to your network. Simultaneously you’re getting to know them, their brand and acclimating them to your influencer management agency systems and culture. I would much rather spend time upfront getting to know someone, ensuring they know me, my approach and my roster well before we sign. 

For anyone who is interested in working with me, I point them to my johanna b. voss Agency FAQs page. Hands down THE BEST and most handy page on my site. 

PRO TIP : I HIGHLY recommend you have a FAQs page on your website. 

From there, the prospect can read about how I work, expectations & my business model. If they’re still interested and check the boxes, they can schedule a 30 minute call. 

If we do that and so far so good, we both want to keep chatting, I schedule another hour long call.

If we do that call and we’re both still a yes, then I have them speak to a couple talent on my roster. I want to ensure they have a full 360 degree perspective on what it’s like to be in my world, to have me as your manager. 

If that all works out, we plan another call and from there, talk about next steps to making it official on my roster.

Part of this isn’t just “getting to know you” opportunities. It’s also a chance for me to see how  they show up. Are they on time? Can they follow instructions and do they really want to keep chatting?  I’m not chasing after anyone. Am I open to new talent? Always. Do I need more talent on my roster? Nope. 

If someone tells me they want management but doesn’t follow up, doesn’t show up for calls or email me back when they say they will, those actions speak for themselves.

Pro tip : “How they do business is how they do business” is a business motto of mine. 

If someone shows up in a certain way with me when telling me they want a manager, I can generally assume that’s how they will show up with a brand, or on a collaboration call with a client. 

How can I differentiate my Influencer Management Agency from competitors?

To distinguish your Influencer Management Agency from competitors, it is imperative to develop a unique value proposition that sets you apart in the dynamic landscape of influencer marketing. 

Start by honing in on a specialized niche or industry, allowing you to become experts in a specific domain. Craft a tailored and personalized approach to influencer partnerships, prioritizing authentic connections and meaningful collaborations over sheer numbers.

Implement innovative and data-driven strategies that demonstrate a deep understanding of both your influencers and clients, ensuring that your agency delivers measurable and impactful results. 

Invest in building a strong network of influencers with diverse backgrounds and expertise, enabling your agency to offer a comprehensive range of influencers who resonate with various audiences.

Additionally, focus on cultivating transparent and genuine relationships with clients, providing unparalleled customer service and fostering a reputation for reliability and professionalism.

Ultimately, by carving out a distinct identity and consistently delivering exceptional value, your Influencer Management Agency can rise above the competition in this ever-evolving industry.

Influencer talent manager Johanna Voss
My clients and I at a conference. Shaunda Necole, myself & Yvette Marquez

If you’re an Influencer Talent Manager who just started your own Talent Management Agency and want to get coaching and mentorship from an award winning Influencer Talent, click HERE to learn about my 8 week Influencer Talent Manager Coaching Program.

Influencer talent manager Johanna Voss
My clients & I at a book signing event. L-R Ismail Mpiana, Jessica Serna, Me, Lorraine Ladish, Shaunda Necole & Yvette Marquez

As we conclude this extensive exploration into the intricacies of launching your own influencer talent management agency, it is evident that the path to success in this dynamic field requires careful consideration, strategic planning, and a commitment to fostering genuine connections. 

I trust that the information shared throughout this comprehensive article has equipped you with valuable insights and practical guidance to navigate the multifaceted landscape of influencer marketing. 

Starting an influencer talent management agency is a rewarding yet challenging endeavor, and I genuinely hope that the knowledge imparted here addresses your queries and helps set you on a path to success. 

As you embark on this exciting journey, remember to stay adaptable, embrace innovation, and above all, cultivate authentic relationships with both influencers and clients. Wishing you the very best as you venture into the world of influencer talent management and carve your niche in this ever-evolving industry! Welcome to the dark side, lol!

PSST! Are you an Influencer Talent Manager & just started your own Talent Management Agency? Do you want to learn the ins and outs of the industry? Do you need help pricing your talent’s rates, recruiting Influencers to build your roster & getting insight on where to find brand collabs?

Click HERE to learn about my 8 week Influencer Talent Manager Coaching Mentorship Program, taught by me, Johanna Voss, an award winning Influencer Talent Manager who has closed over $6M worth of brand deals.