Three Tips For YouTubers Selecting Talent Agents
Over the years, InfluenceLogic has worked with hundreds of talent agents negotiating deals for our brand clients. We have worked with great agents and bad agents. Good agents help find mutually beneficial, long-lasting solutions. Bad agents end up losing their influencer clients’ money. Here are three tips for creators considering hiring a talent agent to help with influencer marketing sponsorship management.
1. Start Searching When Deal Negotiations Begin to Inhibit Your Ability To Create
The first tip for creators: do not start searching too soon for a talent agent. Great talent agents want to work with creators with meaningful audience size and engagement metrics. If you start your search too soon in your career, you’ll find that only second-tier agents will take your call. So be careful not to jump the gun and enter into a contract with an unproven agent. While there isn’t a perfect view metric, I would suggest starting your search when you are exceeding at least 20,000 views a video. Moreover, don’t start your search until deal negotiations with brands are coming in so frequently that they begin to inhibit your ability to create new content. Your job is to create content. The talent agent’s job is to help you monetize that content with great partnership development. Before you give up managing your brand relationships, be sure adding a talent agent is critical to freeing up time to create content.
2. Ask Creator Friends If Their Agents Get Them Single Deals or Multi-Video Deals
The best source of talent agent introductions will come from your friends in the industry. I would be highly skeptical of a random outbound email from a talent agency. Instead, ask your friends in the space who they know, like, and trust. From there, ask them this qualifying question: does your agent get you many single video deals with brands? Or do you find that your agent is helping you to get multi-video deals? As a media buyer, I find that 90% of talent agents will do a single video deal with me and then never ask me if I’d like to buy more videos with that same creator. That frustrates me because it indicates that the talent manager has no concept of building lasting relationships with brands. Before you go with your friends’ agents, make sure they are agents that think long-term.
3. Ask Creator Friends If Agents Source New Deals Or Simply Manage Their Inbox
Along those same lines, I find that many talent agents just manage inbound requests from brands on creators’ behalves. I find that approach to be lazy, and I also find that the 10-15% cut the agent takes is too high for this type of agent. Instead, ask your friends if their talent agent is often searching out for new brand partnerships and reaching out on their behalf. In short, brands do not know ever creator out there. They will do their best to find aligned creators to do a deal, but it might take them years to find your channel. As a media buyer, I love when agents reach out to me and share thoughtful ideas about their talent that might work with the brands we represent. It shows they care, making me feel more confident about buying videos with them.