As you start to take on brand deals, you’ve got some important decisions to make. We’ve talked quite a bit about how to make sure that you’re charging the right amount for your work and giving your clients a professional experience. We’ve even covered how to have tough conversations when things don’t go so hot on a brand campaign. But what about the people who don’t want to go it alone? What options are there for getting help with this administrative part-- winning business, managing it, and collecting money-- so you can focus on the artistic part? Here’s where we talk about that.
Option 1: Signing with an Agency
Many influencer agencies have popped up to fill growing need from brands for influencer talent. Many established talent agencies have added digital practices to support that same need and expand their traditional modeling/acting placements.
- Don Buchwald Associates
- Digital Brand Architects
The benefits are going to be similar all the way down the list here. Someone to find gigs for you, help negotiate the terms of those gigs, manage your compensation and record keeping etc.
Depending on the agency, you may lose some creative control over which jobs you choose to accept and which you turn down. Your manager will also be taking a cut of all the fees associated with your project. This might not affect you directly (if the brands are expected to foot those costs), but it will drive up the cost of hiring you for projects which might mean fewer total deals.
Option 2: Joining an Influencer Platform
Along with the rise of influencer activity came a host of influencer software companies hoping to automate the process of pairing up brands and influencers.
Makes landing a brand deal as easy as using a vending machine. Streamlined payment arrangements.
Lots of competition and low quality leads. These platforms are super affordable and there is very little, if any, vetting for the brands allowed to search and engage with influencers on them. This means that you’re gonna get hit up by lots of fit teas. Similarly, there are few requirements for the talent signing up as influencers on these platforms. You may be placing yourself among a very large pool of mediocre selfie-takers who have big followings. You will also have to log in to the platform to update your profile, stats, rates and check if you’ve got any brand activity.
Option 3: Freelance
This is the one where you go it alone and make up your own rules.
Some influencers turn their lifestyle content sites into full blown studios where they’re able to create for brands and make a living all on their own. Others have regular 9-5’s and accept brand deals on the side.
- Sugar and Cloth
- Studio DIY
- Carly Mask
- Violet Tinder Studios
Freedom. Total and complete control of all the brand deals you want to accept or decline. 100% of the profit comes directly back into your business.
The downsides here may sound like upsides if this is the right avenue for you.
You’ve got to have lots of self-discipline to keep all of your records, taxes, client communications, deadlines and projects on track. You’ve got to be super organized and super driven-- because you only earn as much as you’re willing to hustle. There is no shortage of people who want to glamorize the independence of freelance work… but the truth is that it is a hard hustle.
Creative Community Director at Snapfluence.
There is often a pen stuck in my hair.