This June, when I went to VidCon in LA (a huge YouTube conference), I met with a TON of managers.
Picture me with terrible Wi-Fi, typing away at the Starbucks at the Hyatt hotel while meeting with manager after manager of some of the largest creators out there – think Shay Mitchell or the Dylan twins!
Now, being out in Hollywood is always a mix of fun and sometimes also a slap in the face of reality.
After meeting with so many managers then and also over the last few years, I kind of have some low key strong opinions about influencer management.
Mind you, these aren’t typically popular opinions btw.
Some people are banking MILLIONS from managing influencers (or “talent” as it’s frequently called).
And I definitely came back with some pros and cons of things that I really liked that they did and then some things that I really did not like.
What does hiring a manager even look like?
First off, it’s really important to understand what the manager role looks like.
Is it admin focused? Is it someone helping out with emails? Or is it someone working hand-in-hand with you on every step of your business?
A bulk of the time it’s a person or team who steps in to run the brand deals side of your brand – from being the first to see any opportunities that come your way, negotiate for you, etc.
Now, that SOUNDS amazing, right??
Now let me also disclaim – some people LOVE managers and some managers are great. I know lots with great working relationships.
When should you hire a manager as a blogger?
In my personal and unpopular opinion, I think a lot of people look to a manager as a solution. Either they hate pitching themselves, they are clueless about the whole brand deal process, or they just flat out don’t like it.
And because of that, I think the majority of bloggers and influencers hire a manager before they are ready.
Now, this doesn’t ALWAYS turn out tragically, but a bulk of the time it does.
Here’s what you’re facing when you hire a manager too early.
First, your manager can’t even work for you – if you aren’t ready to be landing brand deals, then a manager is not going to be able to get you the collaborations you’re looking for. That’s going to cause tension between you guys, and overall, just be a waste of your money.
Second, I think it’s so, so important that you as an influencer are EDUCATED about the contracts and collaborations that you’re signing up for.
I watched it happen so many times over the last year, and I cringe SO hard at the fact that influencers have no idea about the deals that are being signed for them.
If you are totally clueless about the brand collaboration process, this is a shameless plug for Summer Camp right here. I actually sold the Summer Camp program to a huge influencer with millions of followers at VidCon because we were talking in the bathroom about how frustrated she was that she didn’t understand a single thing about the multi-figure brand deals she was signing.
Just casual girl talk in the bathroom right?
I don’t think there’s anything MORE DANGEROUS for your brand than not understanding how the brand collaboration process works.
From start to finish.
And hiring a manager to take over that whole process for you without you still knowing anything is also a recipe for DISASTER down the road.
oh and a BRAND NEW PODCAST!!
If you are considering hiring a manager, you are always welcome to shoot me a DM or email and I’ll be glad to answer any questions for you.
Also, , I debuted SWIPE UP Podcast last week would LOVE for you to give it a listen if you haven’t already.
There’s actually a podcast episode coming up about influencer management in about 2 weeks!
Check the pod out here and let me know what you think!