When is the right time for a creator to get talent management?

your questions answered by the fifth talent team

By Esra Gurkan

Thursday, 15th of July 2021

It is important to ensure that you get talent management at the right time and that when you do, it’s the right talent manager for you. 

Talent managers provide strategic management to digital-first content creators and industry-lead talent. Here at The Fifth Talent, we have a roster of over 30 creators and look after everyone from artists, activists, journalists and podcasters to sports people, experts, musicians, comedians and more. 

The roster embody and drive the change we want to see in the industry, and the talent we manage are expert-led, often meaning they have found their social followings as a by-product of their careers and expertise. From day one, we’ve wanted to challenge the term ‘Influencer’ and take the meaning beyond the realms of social and cement it in more traditional settings and thereby open up a world of opportunity for our talent and their careers.

Talent managers specialise in the negotiation and securing of social-first brand deals. They can also offer talent press opportunities, event and panel bookings, the possibilities of ecommerce and book deals, as well as being able to widen their content offerings through content strategy support. 

One of the key missions of The Fifth Group is to champion inclusiveness. The Fifth Talent roster therefore is representative, diverse and is paving the way for an industry which doesn’t accept complacency with activism. In the case of many of our talent, we aim to provide them with the opportunities to amplify their voices online and work tirelessly to provide them with the chance to inspire real change.

Here, we’ve spoken to The Fifth Talent’s whole management team who have shared with us the ins and outs of talent management.

When do you know when the right time is to get management?

Talent Manager Summer Swerner says it’s the right time to seek management when “you are receiving interest by dream brands for partnership opportunities, but do not know how to proceed with the next steps. It’s when you’re struggling to balance the time you have to create content alongside negotiating incoming deals and outreaching to brands for opportunities, whilst also negotiating your fee for deliverables”. 

She continues: “It’s the right time when you need support and guidance on how to leverage your platform to the next level by making sure you are a good influence on your community. It’s when you are interested in branching into new areas of opportunity but do not have the contacts to do so and need some assistance in opening those doors. It’s also when you are looking for support on knowing which brands you should be associated with and more importantly, which ones you should steer clear from. Management does their due diligence prior to any agreements, and a lot of talent appreciate this safety net.

“And finally, it’s the right time to seek management when you’re sick of not being paid on time or dealing with endless legal or financial admin, and you’d love to hand this over in order to free up more time for the stuff that matters”.

What are the major benefits you think having management has to creators?

Talent Manager Olivia Francis says: “There are so many benefits to working with management. Having a manager allows the talent to spend valuable time creating and improving the content they are putting out there, which is by far one of the most important factors to keeping an audience engaged and ensuring growth. 

“By having us on-side we are able to handle all of the legal, financial and admin specifics of the job, all of which are extremely important and time consuming tasks that eat into time that can be spent on content creation and can inhibit talent expanding their creativity. Additionally, having a manager with a roster provides a detailed insight into the industry from the other side. Your team will have more knowledge of past and present campaigns, analysing fees from similar deals and other talent to ensure you are being properly compensated for your work”. 

What if talent want to change direction or rebrand their channel? Will having a manager inhibit a creators’ creative freedom? And will a manager ever prevent me from speaking out about certain topics? 

Talent Manager Keys Pownall explains: “Having a manager will in actual fact help you to find your creative freedom – especially if you have a manager that is passionate about the content that you create. As managers our job is to advise and guide you – not to dictate to you and be militant. A good manager will always let you decide what works for you but will be your right hand in advising and supporting you in your decision making and creative process”. 

Can having an additional person in the communications stunt creativity in campaign and brief negotiations?

Summer says:By content creators working alongside an agent, they have the ability to share their creative concepts and receive first hand feedback before this is shared with the client. This helps prevent the talent from re-shooting content and giving themselves additional work. From previous experience on launching successful campaigns, the talent manager can share feedback on how to receive the best engagement and interest once live,  giving the talent the best chance to work alongside their dream brands on long term partnerships”. 

The Fifth Talent Director Katie Wallwork continues: “In a lot of cases we actively encourage our talent to have briefing meetings and creative sessions with the clients. This is definitely with larger more complex brand partnerships or monthly retained campaigns, but we really enjoy hosting brainstorms with the clients and talent to ensure the brief is thoroughly understood and the talent feel galvanised and excited by the partnership”.

A question of transparency – do you relinquish control over brand contacts and comms by having a manager?

Katie says this isn’t the case, explaining:There should be no question. We assist in supporting and nurturing our talents’ relationships with brands or organisations across the industry. All our talent have direct access and involvement in comms where they’d like it, there’s no benefit to preventing this”.