As a talent agent working at a talent agency, you’ll know firsthand the value that social media influencers can bring to brands.
But with so many influencers out there, how do you go about signing the right social media influencers for your talent agency? Here are 4 steps to follow.
Step #1. Identify the relevant target audiences and niches
The first step in signing top social media talent for your roster is to understand the kind of target audience(s) and niche(s) you want to focus on.
This comes down to the type of portfolio you want to build - for instance, a talent agent might want to develop expertise in the beauty and lifestyle niches, building out a roster of primarily female creators with over 1 million followers each.
Define these parameters so you know upfront who you’re really looking to sign to your agency:
Demographics (age, gender, location).
Content type, themes, and interests.
Target audience and niche (or sub-niche).
Once you have a clear understanding of the audience and niche, you'll be better equipped to identify and sign social media talent that align with those.
Step #2. Develop a creator acquisition strategy
Next up, you’ll need to decide how to go about signing new talent.
Here are some tips for developing a successful acquisition strategy:
Identify key criteria for potential influencers: lay out the key criteria and qualities you are looking for in an influencer, such as their follower count, engagement rate, content style, and industry niche. This list will help you narrow down your search and focus on influencers who are a good fit for your talent agency, as described above.
Decide on what type of agreement you’re willing to offer talent: including things like commission and compensation rates.
Step #3. Find, pitch and vet potential influencers
Now, it’s time to go out into the wild and look out for social media influencers that meet the criteria you’ve defined in the previous step.
There are a few key strategies you can use to find and approach potential talent here:
Search social media platforms
Use social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to search for influencers who align with your target audience and key criteria. Look for influencers who create high-quality content, have a strong and engaged following, and closely match your criteria.
For instance, you could leverage TikTok’s Creative Center, which you can filter by followers and engagement, to quickly identify trending creators.
Attend industry events
Industry events such as influencer marketing conferences or talent showcases are a great opportunity to network and connect with established influencers. Take this chance to meet influencers in person and form more personal connections.
Partner with influencer marketing agencies
You could also consider partnering up with influencer marketing agencies to access their networks and expertise, if this is something you don’t currently have. Influencer marketing agencies can help you identify potential influencers from their pool of creators.
Once you’ve shortlisted potential influencers, make a compelling pitch for representation. Here are some tips to get this right:
Personalize your pitch
Show the influencer that you took the time to research their content and audience, that you understand what their content is about, and explain how their profile aligns well with your existing talent roster (or the roster you’re actively building out).
Present the benefits of working with your talent agency
Outline the benefits of working with your agency, including access to industry connections, personalized support and guidance, and the opportunity to take their career in new directions.
Be clear and transparent about your expectations
Finally, set the baseline expectations for your representation, including the terms of the agreement, commissions and fees, as well as any exclusivity or non-compete clauses that may apply. This way, the influencer knows upfront what they’d be signing up to, if they were to proceed.
Crucially, as part of your talent outreach you’ll need to quickly validate the influencers you’re talking to are legit.
Don’t waste your time and attention on fake influencers! Check out these steps to quickly spot fake social media influencers, including assessing engagement ratios, followers and views.
Step #4. Negotiate and finalize contractual agreements
Here comes the last step in the process. Once you’ve identified and vetted potential influencers, the next step is to negotiate and finalize agreements.
The terms of the agreement need to be fair and mutually beneficial for both sides, and all expectations and obligations clearly understood by talent.
Set clear terms and expectations
Clearly outline the goals and expectations for the representation, including the type of content the influencer can expect to create, contract duration and renewal process, and any guarantees or other benefits you might be able to offer them (such as a minimum number of brand deals per month or year, or a monetary amount).
Establish compensation and payment terms
Propose a fair compensation rate that factors in the influencer's profile, and how much you could then charge brands to work with your talent.
Be sure to include clear payment terms, including when and how the influencer will be compensated following their campaigns.
There should also be a clause protecting the talent in cases where they have delivered content for a campaign but the brand has failed to provide timeline payments, for instance. In such cases, the talent agency should have provisions in place to pay the influencer their share as set out in the representation contract so the creator isn’t at a loss.
Outline any exclusivity or non-compete clauses
If you require exclusivity or non-compete clauses as part of the agreement, make sure to outline the terms and limitations of these clauses so everything is clear.
Review and finalize the agreement
Once you’ve negotiated the terms of the agreement, review the document thoroughly and make sure all parties understand and agree to the terms. Obtain the agreement from the influencers in writing, signed by all parties, before proceeding.
Use the above tips to identify and approach the right talent, negotiate agreements, and build successful long-term partnerships for your talent agency.
Whether you're new to the world of talent management or are a seasoned professional, we hope this was useful.
On TheRostr, we empower ambitious talent agents like you to manage their roster, communicate with brands, and run branded campaigns all in one place. Check us out!
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