Prior to social media’s explosion, CAA, WME and UTA, APA, Gersh, ICM, and Paradigm had the talent agency practice on lock. Now, fast-forward to an era of Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube celebrities, the democratization of the agency model has spurred the rapid growth of boutique talent firms brokering relationships of all sizes.
One of our goals is to reduce the barriers to entry when starting these types of business. Dovetale is used by many boutique talent agencies for prospecting, pitching, and brokering deals with content creators. With that being said, here is the quick guide and best practices to working with talent.
Exclusivity Vs. Non-Exclusivity
Whether you are a boutique or large talent agency it’s important to first determine your firm’s strengths and goals. There are cost benefits to exclusivity vs non-exclusivity, but in general, we won’t discuss the intricacies in this post due to the complexities involved. Nonetheless, it is an important distinction to make especially when reaching out to talent and setting expectations.
As an agency, brokering good deals is important. Whether you are working with a brand or an individual it is important to think about what matters to each. As a rule of thumb, list out the values of the partners and the values of the company to look for overlaps. When looking for pairings (brands + talent) success is determined by how well you know each stakeholder. Here are some questions to ask while prospecting:
- Are the audiences similar?
- Does it seem non-genuine if this person talks about a certain brand? Does it fit?
- Is there too much-sponsored content in their feed? Is there oversaturation?
- Is the talent growing quickly? Are they losing or gaining followers?
Building a list of talent is easy on Dovetale. Change the filter options and keywords to match your search thesis. Thereafter, you can create a list and build a media kit or table to share with your client/ prospect.
In general, it’s best practice to use the Dovetale media kit format to share talent profiles because they are more visual and if you’d like, clients can provide direct feedback privately. There are multiple visual formats and templates offered that will hopefully match your style. Most talent firms actively build and share media kits to keep the deal flow high. Teams that send clients a new list once per week show a strong understanding of the fastly changing social landscape.
Dovetale surfaces new talent based on growth by default. We do this to give our users a leg up when finding new talents. Matching a brand and talent prospects should be based on value symmetry first. Do they like the same things, does their content match aesthetically, etc. Once you’ve found some fits, try to match the audience of the brand with the influencers. If you’re pitching a female-focused brand on Instagram, find influencers that have low sponsored content, high growth, high female audience, and match the overall values of the brand.
First, there is a distinction between sponsored content engagement and overall engagement rate. This is important because if talent posts about other brands and gets low engagement on those posts, it’s likely that the brand has low brand alignment or their audience doesn’t care about sponsored content in general, especially when it’s obvious.
Talent firms that are pitching new business or retaining existing businesses should try to keep up with competitor influencer mentions. Using the mention search teams can help find influencers that talk about any brand and can dramatically help inform decisions for your client. Learning what’s working and what isn’t, is key to consumer development and your pitch process.
If you’re reaching out as a talent agency in an effort to broker a relationship with a brand or studio it’s important that you have a professional social presence and website. There are many scams and the volume of people reaching out keeps increasing. These are simple things you and your firm can do to increase talent responses.
If you’re running a talent agency we’d love to hear from you! Reach out to us at email@example.com. If you have any suggestions for further blog posts or want to contribute to one yourself reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.