The influencer space is a fairly new industry, and it can be a confusing one to navigate. That’s where representation comes in. Agents and agencies figuratively hold the hand of digital influencers through a maze of brokering deals, and communicating with both media and brands. But just how do you pick the right representation for you? BD investigates:
The need for speed
The expression, “you snooze, you lose,” is a reality in the world of digital influencers. If you aren’t the first to accept an opportunity, then it is quite likely you will miss out. For many bloggers and vloggers, finding representation that identifies opportunities and acts on them quickly is a must. Blogger Sarah Jane Young from She Is Sarah Jane confirms this: “Particularly in this instant world of social media, you need a team who can keep up and who is able to pick up job opportunities and run with them at lightning speed.” It’s part of being taken care of in a professional sense, says vlogger Rachael Brook. For her, fast and regular communication is integral as “my number one priority would be knowing that my business is in capable hands. We need to trust that our enquiries will be looked after as well as (or better than) we would look after them ourselves.” Sara Crampton from Harper & Harley agrees: “I speak with Chic multiple times a day. We’re a family and I always know I’m going to be well looked after.”
Do your research
Reputation is everything in business, so it is important to research options before deciding on an agency. Sara Crampton of Harper & Harley admits “having a great industry reputation” is integral. She explains: “You need to look at multiple criteria for choosing the right agency for you. Most talent agencies have Instagram accounts where you can find out what campaigns their talent have worked on and who with.” In describing her own experience, Crampton says: “I’ve been with Chic Blogger Management, a division of Chic, for a number of years now. What drew me to them was that they already had incredible industry experience with their model divisions, celebrity and creative industries. They knew how to work with clients and talent and had the structure to do this well within the blogging/influencer landscape.” Young agrees with the concept of exploring businesses that have an established reputation within the industry, saying: “My advice to others would be a good reputation is a must, as your agency represents your brand (YOU!), so you want to be sure that you are being taken care of by a reputable agency with a proven track record."
Size up your talent family
Take the time to scope out who else is on the agency’s books, advises Brook. “I think it’s important to feel like you sit nicely amongst their other talent by having similar standards of work. I’m incredibly proud to be amongst such strong, talented women (and men!) that are represented by MAXCONNECTORS,” she says.
For Young, it is crucial to be a part of an agency who are able to dedicate adequate time to help individual talent flourish. She says: “It is also important for me to be with an agency who has an element of diversity in terms of the style of bloggers they represent. If, for example, the agency only represents one type of influencer, it then means you are competing for jobs with other talent in your agency, and it ends up being a no-win situation.” Crampton makes a similar point, saying influencers should take note of “the number of talent [the agency] has as well as how many talent agents so you can understand the time agents have to offer each talent. The standard of the talent is also very important, as well as what kind of work they’re getting.” Since the influencer space is burgeoning, signing with an agency with the right resources is key, continues Young. She advises: “Avoid any agencies that either represent only one type of talent or have far too many people on their books, as it is difficult for them to then allocate the necessary amount of time and energy to each influencer in order to further their profile and source more work.”
The perfect match
Like dating, courting the right kind of talent representation comes down to compatibility. It’s about finding someone who understands your brand and your expectations, say the influencers. Brook comments on her relationship with MAXCONNECTORS: “If I met with an agent and their work ethic didn’t match mine, I’d know it wasn’t the right representation for me. Also, if your agent doesn’t believe in you and your work - get out of there!” And Crampton offers this simple piece of advice: “If you don’t feel that it’s the right fit, then don’t sign.”
*Newsletter image courtesy of Chic Model Management