How do influencer managers get paid?

In the wild world of social media, where everyone is vying for likes and followers like it’s a digital Hunger Games, there exists a secret society of master puppeteers known as influencer managers. These behind-the-scenes maestros have the power to turn an everyday Joe with decent selfie skills into an internet sensation overnight. You may be wondering, how do Influencer Managers get paid?

But amidst the glamour and fame, one question lingers in the minds of curious onlookers: How do these elusive influencers wrangle their hard-earned cash? Fear not, dear reader, for today we shall unveil the enigmatic payment methods employed by these modern-day Pied Pipers.

So grab your virtual popcorn and prepare to dive deep into the mysterious abyss known as influencer remuneration – it’s about to get monetarily mesmerizing!

How do Influencer Managers get paid?

The short answer is with money, ideally lots and lots of it! 

Oh wait, you want to know more about the ins and outs of why you need an influencer manager, how to find one and yes, ultimately how much does an influencer agent cost? Got you. Yes, we’ll talk about how influencer managers get paid but I’m also here to shed light on your other burning Q’s about influencer talent management. Let’s dive in, shall we?

What is an Influencer Agent?

An Influencer agent is someone on your team who handles the negotiation,  brand partnerships, campaign project management of your business. Us managers are the first line of response for any inbound inquiry from a brand or agency that wants to work with you. 

We ask all those questions you probably don’t want to ask agencies, or avoid asking if you’re negotiating on your own. Questions about the budget, scope of work (SOW) aka the deliverables, what are the campaign goals and does the brand want any exclusivity?

Yup, I’ve got a laundry list (that I also know by heart) of all the questions I need to ask a brand in order to fully understand what the project is about. After talking to an agency on my talent’s behalf, I do my best to come prepared with all the answers I know my talent will want. 

We look at agreements to make sure your butt is covered. We get the campaign briefs, share across your concept for approval, manage the deadlines with you for content & go lives, and serve as a buffer between you and the agency should they get a bit needy. 

And if your agent becomes a good friend, we’re also your #1 hypewoman, cheerleader & therapist.  Lucky you!

Here’s an article I wrote on “What does an influencer talent manager do??”

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

Do you need an Influencer Manager or Agent?

Truly, do you need one? Let’s talk about it. Here’s my hot take of 3 questions to ask yourself to determine if you need an influencer manager or agent. 

  • Are you already doing paid brand deals? Have you earned ~ $75K+ in the past 12 months on influencer marketing campaigns?
  • Are you missing paid, quality opportunities because you’re too busy with other paid brand collabs? (This doesn’t mean, do you just not want to deal with your emails?)
  • Are you aware that you’re losing money on the paid brand deals you have secured  because you can’t negotiate better for yourself?

I’ll talk more about it in a minute but in order for you to consider if you’re the right candidate for an influencer talent agent, you must already be making money – some amount of money from paid brand collabs. 

Us managers earn money a couple different ways but it’s all tied into our talent, you, the content creator, the influencer, making money. If our compensation isn’t tied to brand deals (news flash :  100% of the time it is), then you’re paying out of your own pocket for some service from a talent manager. 

If you’re not making money, then neither are we. And that, my friends, makes us cranky. 

Why You Need An Influencer Manager

You need an influencer manager if you’re on the cusp of taking your influencer content creator business to the next level. To me, this means that you’ve had a good chapter of success, working on paid brand deals, negotiating and closing deals yourself with brands. 

You have a strong brand that clearly demonstrates how you provide value across your social media platforms. You have an engaged, committed audience that returns often to your page to engage with your content (like, share, save & comment on it). You have people to help you with your projects be it a VA, editor, photographer, stylist, social media manager or videographer. Successful influencers who are making good money know they can’t do this alone. It does take a village. 

If you are dropping the ball because you have too many paid brand collaboration balls in the air, then you need a manager. If you’re not responsive to brands that are reaching out with quality, paid opportunities because you have too much content creation work going on, then you’re ready for a manager. 

Should you get an agent as an Influencer? 

Yes and no. It really depends on what sort of support you’re looking for within your Influencer marketing business. For people who are comfortable taking a risk and trusting someone else with their business baby as I like to call it, it’s definitely worth considering.

I do believe that we go further together. Bringing on an Influencer Talent Manager can be a huge asset to your team, enabling you to be more strategic with your time, earn more on your paid brand collaborations and grow your business to become a powerful, uber successful Influencer. Still have Q’s? I wrote this article for you, “Should you get an agent as an Influencer?”

Should i get an agent as an influencer 3 things to know.
Should i get an agent as an influencer 3 things to know.

How to find an Influencer Agent

The good news is that if you’re a savvy person who can use the google and social media, which I’m 100% sure you are, you’ll be able to find some Influencer Agent candidates in no time. 

I’d start by asking around in your network. Ask your friends who are content creators, or your fave ones you follow online what names and talent management agencies they’ve heard of. Ask who they work with and would recommend. If you’re in any online influencer networking groups, ask in that group.

Don’t overlook using hashtags and the search function on Instagram and Tiktok. I often tag my content with #talentmanager #influencertalentmanager #talentmanagerlife for this reason. Also, don’t sleep on LinkedIn as there’s a lot of us very active talent managers on there as well. Feel free to follow me on either one of these platforms (This is me, Johanna Voss on Instagram and Johanna Voss on LinkedIn) either to learn more about me as a possible Influencer Talent Manager and/or to look thru my network. I often highlight other influencer agents that I love and adore. I’m happy to make intros to other Talent Managers I know who are doing great work. 

I’ve got a lot more to say about “How to find an influencer agent” so I wrote this article for you.

How much does an Influencer Agent cost : A comprehensive guide

There are 4 industry standard ways of paying your Influencer Agent. Flat fee, retainer, commission and a hybrid model of commission and retainer. 

Let’s start with flat fee as I think it’s the least used form of compensation for Influencer agents. A flat fee is a one time payment for a service. A great example of a flat fee in our world is when you hire a lawyer to review your Influencer Agreement. She does, she redlines it for you to ensure the terms are in your favor and that’s it. You pay her a one time, flat fee for that service.  You may never use her again or you may hire her over and over again. 

A second form of payment to an Influencer manager is a retainer. This is a set monthly amount of money paid to your Influencer manager to cover a pre-determined list of responsibilities. I know managers who use a retainer for dealing with social media management or doing a lot of brand strategy for their clients. 

The third form of payment is probably what you’ve heard of the most : commission. This means that us Influencer Managers earn a % of the brand deals we close on your behalf. So we only get paid on a project when you get paid on a project. Industry standard is between 10-20% commission. I earn 20% commission on all the brand deals I close for my talent. 

The fourth form of payment to an Influencer manager is a hybrid of the retainer model plus commission. It’s  a structure I use for the first 90 days of bringing a new talent into my agency. The reason I use this model is because it takes a lot of my time to onboard someone to my agency so I need to ensure that my time is compensated. During those first 90 days, I earn a retainer + 10% commission on all brand deals I close. After that 90 days is up, then I move to straight 20% commission, no more retainer. 

Here’s a more lengthy article I wrote for you about “How much does an Influencer Agent cost?

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

Pro tip : If you’ve loved this article, I highly recommend you sign up for my weekly newsletter HERE. It’s full of industry insights, brand negotiation tips and scripts, events I’m attending, perspective on how to grow your Influencer business and more. I keep it pretty scrappy and real – would love you to join us over there! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP.

How do Influencer Managers get paid FAQ

How much do influencers managers make?

I would say this depends on where you live in the country and if you’re doing this full time, but in order to run a sustainable business, an influencer manager needs to make multiple six figures. Now that may seem like a lot but once you take out taxes, overhead, salary, operating expenses etc, you’ll quickly see that the money is accounted for. 

Our income is dependent on our talent’s paid brand collaborations which means that our income also fluctuates from year to year. I tell ya, being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. 

What is the contract between influencer and manager?

The contract between an Influencer and a manager is the agreement that outlines their working terms, who is responsible for what, laying out expectations the influencer can have of the manager and vice versa. It’s also where the compensation to the Manager is outlined. You must have one! Just as you would never work with a brand without an agreement, don’t work with a manager without an agreement. 

What does an influencer manager do?

First and foremost, an Influencer Manager is your negotiator for all your brand opportunities. If we do one thing, it’s that – negotiate on your behalf as your manager. The second most important thing (I think) we do, is be a responsive, representative of your brand  whenever there’s any inquiry about working with you.  I like to follow up within one business day to learn more about the opportunity. This also helps let the brand know that you’re interested and responsive. Don’t be that Influencer who doesn’t respond to emails! You’re missing opportunities to build your business. 

How much do influencers pay their managers?

Influencers pay their managers between 10-20% of all the paid brand collabs us managers close.  If I close a deal for $10,000 for a talent of mine, I earn $2,000.

How to become an influencer manager?

I wish I could tell you the exact, simple steps but like any successful career, each of us Talent Managers has taken a long, windy road to build our agencies the way we have. For anyone interested in becoming an Influencer Manager, I highly recommend taking a job at a larger Talent Management Agency to learn the ropes of the industry. It’s a great way to get up to speed on the terms we use (perpetuity, NIL, usage, exclusivity to name a few). You’ll start to make connections in the industry and grow your network.

I wrote this longer article “How do I become an Influencer Talent Agent” as well to help you out.

How do influencers get managers?

There’s two ways influencers get managers. One way is the Talent Management agency reaches out to the influencer to see if they have a manager. If the answer is no, then the agency could express interest in wanting to learn more about them and possibly representing them moving forward. 

The other way an Influencer gets a manager is that the Influencer is the one doing the outreach to prospective talent management agencies. Here’s an article I wrote about “How to find an Influencer Agent”.

What do influencer managers do?

Oh goodness, we do so many things! We negotiate brand collaborations on behalf of our clients. We project manage the collaborations that our talent are doing. We serve as a buffer and boundary between the brands and talent so that everyone stays in their lane and the project gets done well. We’re a cheerleader, therapist and hypewoman for our clients as well, more often than not!

How much money does an influencer make?

That’s a great question. I know Influencers who earn less than $1,000 in a year while also knowing some Influencers who earn $500,000+ in one year. There’s a lot of factors that impact how much you as an Influencer earns. 

➡How clear and strong is your brand and the value you deliver? 
➡What does your follower count but  more importantly, your engagement look like?
➡How good are you at negotiating with brands?
➡Do you do this full time?

What is an influencer and how do they get paid?

An influencer is someone who has established expertise in some area of information. They could know a lot about parenting or how to stay fit and healthy as you get older. They could be an Influencer of a certain cuisine and all the recipes involved. They could be great at knowing the best hotels and cities to visit. 

When a brand or destination (a DMO) such as a hotel or Visit Denver (DMO), partners with them to promote a certain product, location or experience, the Influencer can get paid for that collaboration. That’s one way how an Influencer gets paid. The Influencer’s platform is bringing new eyeballs and perhaps a new audience to the product or location. They are using their influence (ie their platform) to educate you, to tell you about something they think might of interest or use to you. 

How do social media influencers get brand deals?

Social media influencers get brand deals via a couple different ways. First is that their profile is selected in a search of an influencer database that a lot of influencer marketing agencies use. This puts them on a brand’s radar so then the brand does research into their content, followers and engagement. If all of these continue to be of interest to the brand, the brand will reach out with an offer. 

Sometimes influencers will reach out directly to a brand they want to partner with and ask about opportunities. This is called outbound marketing or pitching. It’s a more proactive approach to getting brand deals.