Feb 14, 2022
If you are an influencer with 5,000 or more followers, chances are, an influencer management agency or influencer manager has already contacted you to be a part of their roster of influencers. This is definitely a good thing.
However, as an influencer, have you asked yourself why you would need an influencer manager? What can he do for you that you cannot otherwise do by yourself? What should you look for if ever you decide to hire an influencer manager?
Put simply, an influencer manager is like a talent manager–he oversees the day-to-day business affairs of the influencer. Although if the agency hires him, his primary responsibility is to liaise between the agency and the influencer.
Of course, an influencer can also hire his/her own manager, working closely with her regarding contracts, campaigns, payments, and other aspects of influencer marketing management.
Going back to the question, first things first, here are things that make hiring an influencer manager worth it.
Things to look for in an influencer manager
1) A verified portfolio of successful influencer marketing campaigns
With all these, never hire the services of a manager without inspecting the integrity of the credentials. You want ‘receipt’ of proven successful campaigns.
2) A reasonable percentage cut off your earnings, say about 5 to 20%
Anything more than this amount is unacceptable. Although, you need to be reasonable yourself because the percentage or actual amount will depend on the extent of the manager’s services.
You might as well discuss this with the manager. It should be established between you two if the percentage includes merch revenue, product collaborations payment, and affiliate link commission. Put everything into writing as well. Don’t sign anything if something’s not clear to you. Ask first and sign the agreement only if you are satisfied with the terms.
3) A background in marketing, advertising, public relations, or other related disciplines
Influencer marketing is unique in that it involves two primary factors marketing-wise: the influencer himself/herself and his/her influence. Anyone who has no idea or does not fully grasp this marketing concept is doomed to fail. Hence, protect your name and influence by hiring the right person.
4) An open and transparent approach to influencer marketing
Influencer management is a business collaboration wherein the influencer and manager work closely together. It boils down to transparency while also ensuring that the manager can bring value to the professional relationship. Most importantly, there should be open communication between the two of you. Otherwise, the relationship won’t flourish into something productive and profitable.
Other tips when hiring a manager
Don’t hire an influencer manager directly that offers income growth in exchange for an upfront flat fee.
No manager can promise this since influencer marketing can be ‘fluid.’ For instance, even when two influencers work for the same campaign, the results and profits won’t be the same. The same goes for when an influencer works for two different campaigns–everything will be different from one campaign to another.
Don’t work with a manager that you don’t know on a personal level.
Remember that the agency or its representatives, which are the influencer managers, collaborate with you. You are in this together. If a clash happens while a campaign is ongoing and the manager backs out, it’ll be a disaster. And you’ll be left with handling this particular campaign, other campaigns, and other related tasks down to the most mundane details.
Prepare a list of questions you want the manager to answer.
A manager that you hire yourself will work for you exclusively. However, if hiring through an agency, you should ask these questions.
What short- and long-term strategies will he implement to build your brand? To maximize your reach on specific platforms?
How many influencers is he working with or representing at present? In the same niche?
How will be payment be split? What are the inclusions of the sharing?
How an influencer manager may help
Since the manager takes the nitty-gritty part of influencer marketing off your hands, he can certainly assist you by:
Managing all communication, including responding to inquiries
Outreaching to brands for ambassadorships and sponsorships
Actively pitching you to relevant brands and securing partnerships quicker
Negotiating for campaigns, product collaborations, and merchandising legally
Negotiating terms to ensure receiving the best value for your content and hard work
Handling the branded campaign from start to finish
Coordinating with suppliers and providers, including hiring photographers and videographers
Strategizing toward influence and audience growth
Monitoring campaign performance and preparing reports
Handling daily schedules and commitments
Managing content calendar and ensuring that every milestone and deadline is met
When do you need to hire an influencer manager?
Now, if you’re wondering when you actually need a manager, this will depend on your circumstances, unique needs, and comfort levels working with another individual or agency representative. However, here are some signs that it’s high time to hire a manager or agency.
#1 - When you are receiving sponsorship pitches more than what you can handle
It’s definitely exciting to open your email inbox and find several sponsorship opportunities waiting for you to tackle. These sponsorships are a vouch for your quality content and extent of influence. However, such scenarios can easily get overwhelming. On the one hand, you are executing scheduled content and managing expectations of the brands you are working with at present on the other hand.
Juggling these things may eventually affect the content quality and missed opportunities. You don’t want that to happen–neither do we, at Gushcloud. A manager acts on your behalf, sifting through pitches and proposals to determine if there’s a fit between you and the brand and declining deals politely, and negotiating deals if you want to be paid more as per the campaign’s requirements.
#2 - When you spend less time creating content than you actually should
Influencers are generally content creators. Thus, if you are spending less time doing this core task due to surmounting numbers of emails waiting to be responded to or meetings you need to attend personally, you are doing a disservice to your own brand, followers, and subscribers.
Again, the manager can take the burden off your shoulders by dealing with the auxiliary activities, so you can focus on content creation. As a matter of fact, he can help with the entire content creation process, from conceptualizing to hiring extras and securing permits to shoot. He can even monitor current trends and relay them to you for content proposes. This is critical since there are consequences to failing to publish quality content on time. Followers will surely stop expecting updates for you if content publication becomes intermittent. They’ll find other digital stars who post content consistently. The manager frees up your precious time for you to concentrate on bringing fresh, relevant, and engaging creative visions into reality.
#3 When you need help with the legal and financial aspects
With varying legal and financial requirements depending on your location and niche you’re working with, this aspect consumes virtually all influencers. For one, endorsement guidelines are often country-specific. As such, they worry if they need to pay their taxes, how and whether they are paying the correct amount or not. Monetizing your content necessitates taxation, for instance. The same with contracts–they wonder if brands are not ripping them off, if the terms are reasonable, or if the pay they should receive is sufficient or not.
A manager may or may not have a legal background, but he should have a strong business and financial insight to help you with the basics. For instance, the influencer manager can make the call if a lawyer should get involved with the deal and why. In addition, there could be clauses in the contract that need to be changed or removed. The manager can help you with other important things that need to be discussed, such as disclosure, ownership rights, liabilities for damages, and cancellation.
An influencer should look for several things when hiring or dealing with an influencer manager. The goal is to find someone who can assist and support you throughout your influencer marketing journey. And as an influencer, you must approach an agency like Gushcloud or a manager when things start to get overwhelming. When it becomes too much to handle, you might as well let a reliable and trustworthy manager handle things for you.
Choose a manager who thinks like you, understands you and your work, respects your vision but gives guidance when necessary, and wants to see you succeed as an influencer. You want to work with someone who has a genuine concern and passion for influencer marketing as for influencers like you–he should help you reach your full potential.
If working with an agency
An influencer marketing agency can approach, hire you, and assign a dedicated manager to handle you. Agencies usually reach out to influencers they think are worthy of adding to their roster. Alternatively, you can approach the agency with the main purpose of getting included in their roster of influencers. Apparently, this works both ways.
However, know that there are no two agencies alike–they have their own styles of rosters. Some focus on fashion and beauty, while others on every category, including mom, fintech, etc. As an influencer looking to hire a manager, consider aligning your brand with the agency. Always remember that the ‘fit’ is key in successful professional collaborations.