We’ve talked about influencer marketing, relationship building, and the pros and cons of working with talent agencies. You’ve put in the work, logged in countless hours pitching brands, creating content, building your small empire, and know that if you want to be successful you need to understand the skills of influencer management. It is always in the front and centre—or pretty much the core of all of your work. It is a basic competence, one that every influencer needs to master, as it is simply the power to get your work done in a timely and efficient manner.
So what happens when the offers start to roll in and you realize the need for someone, more skilled in liaising relationships with brands? You hire a manager.
Having a manager to back up your brand and manage your daily communications with other brand representatives can be a huge plus, as well as a big deal. They are educated, skilled and well-versed in all managerial aspects of the game and—by all means—know what works and doesn’t work for a specific brand. All you have to know is how to pick the right person to manage YOUR brand.
To understand the concept of talent management and choose the right person for your business, you have to answer three main questions:
- What do you want from them? What are the goals and priorities that you require help with?
- What do they want from you that you can give them?
- What resources do you have to offer them in order for them to give you what you want?
Once you’ve zoomed in on the right person, there is one thing that you—ultimately—have to remember: your brand is now in the hands of someone else, your relationships with others will be based on this person’s ability to reflect your wants and needs, as well as uphold your place in the industry. You need to trust them and learn to communicate when something isn’t working.
Your new manager will play a big role in seeding out the right brand collaborations, negotiating your contracts, and acting as an integral voice within your company. They will often face dilemmas and make decisions on your behalf, when it comes to acknowledging what could potentially work for or hurt your brand. You must always remember that they are very well connected within the industry—even more than yourself at times— and you should never go behind their back to make a deal they advised you not to take. Here are a few reasons why:
- A manager is influential: They are! You may influence the masses but your manager is the one who has the high hand when connecting you to brands – they know your brand inside and out, pitch it to companies of interest, negotiate your contracts and act as your main voice. They deliver a valuable message, which is why it is important to be transparent of your expectations at the beginning of the work relationship and trust them to do the job.
- They have a reputation to uphold: When you put you go into a partnership with your manager, you let them know that you trust them to make decisions on your behalf. You trust them to know which deals work and which would harm your brand. Ultimately, they build their reputation as an integral part of your brand and you cannot go behind their back to take on or decline contracts that they’ve already signed on or off of. Undermining them over means setting yourself up for failure.
- They CAN ruin your brand: Going behind your manager’s back means that you don’t trust them to build you up. They’ve committed to providing you with right opportunities and they’ve evaluated all of the pros and cons before bringing the deal to you but you still want more (or a little less). Say you go ahead and undermine their decision, instead penning a different deal with the company and your manager ends up losing their credibility as an official representative of your brand, thus losing further on an opportunity to work with this company again. They now decide to part ways with you, take on another client, and share the tale of your “independence” with the rest of the industry— managers, brands, talent agencies, and more. You are now on the losing end with a reputation of someone who undermines his or her own team.
There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t go behind your manager’s back but the most important one of all is: they are acting as your voice, and it’s always important to ensure a healthy relationship. Burning bridges is never worth it. Trust is an important part of a business relationship and if you’re not ready to put yours in the hands of a manager that can take you to the next level, then don’t experiment with it. Your manager is your bond with the industry and with the right maintenance, it can be unbreakable. But drop the ball once, two times or three and you may find yourself with no (industry) strings attached.
Have a brand that you want to take to the next level? Tell us about yourself today and start building on collaborations tomorrow.
Featured Image by B2Rev
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.