Social Media Influencer Manager | Influencers Management
Social media has become an essential part of our lives. With a good percentage of the world population on social media. It has become a primary marketing channel. Establishing a social media marketing strategy to grow your reach and increase conversions is critical. Many successful brands include collaborating with social media influencers in their strategy. Influencers are trusted experts in their niches and can influence their followers’ buying patterns.
Influencer marketing is a lucrative industry projected to grow to $16.4 billion in 2022. As the industry grows, so does the number of influencers and service providers supporting it. Influencer marketing-related services grew by 26% in 2021. Social media influencer managers are among the essential service providers in the industry.
Social Media Influencers Need for Manager
Social media influencers need managers to handle the business aspect of their careers as they focus on building their brands. Influencers with managers achieve more growth and success in their jobs than those without managers. Influencers can take advantage of their manager’s network and industry experience to get ahead of the pack.
Social media influencer managers guide clients through sourcing, negotiations, and signing contracts. They know how much per brand can pay, so they ensure brands do not exploit or shortchange their influencer’s clients. Managers understand contract details and will see what you are getting into – what brands expect and how they will compensate the influencer.
Having a manager is essential to expanding your career. Influencer managers have connections with different industry leaders. Your manager will put you in touch with other brands, presenting opportunities that influencers without managers don’t get.
Ways to Get a Social Media Influencer Manager
You can contact an influencer management agency or the influencer manager you want to work with directly. Agencies and influencer managers also reach out to social media influencers. They think it would be a quality addition to their client list.
It is not just enough to have a manager for your influencer career. Influencers need to hire a manager who will improve and streamline their career. When looking for a manager, influencers must package their craft professionally. That is because managers sift through so many applications to decide who is worth representing. To stand out, you must create unique and valuable content.
Every agency or manager focuses on a particular industry. An influencer has to find an agency that aligns with his industry or the direction you want to take with his career. The influencer can consult other influencers in your industry to recommend managers so that you can spend less time landing your best fit.
You must consider several factors before signing with a management agency or manager:
- How many influencers in your niche do they represent?
- Have the influencers in their roster seen more career growth and success since signing with them?
- What is the agency’s strategy to help you maximize your social media reach?
- What are their short- and long-term goals to help build your brand?
- How much will they take from your influencer revenue?
Influencers’ Obligation to Pay Their Management
Influencers must pay for management services as stipulated in their engagement contract. Typically, influencers do not pay their management out of their pocket. Influencer managers take a cut out of the influencer’s earnings. The average range is from 10% to 20%, depending on the scope of services. The manager’s salary may include a portion of each of the following:
- AdSense revenue
- Brand campaigns
- Affiliate link commissions
- Product collabs
- Merchandise revenue
Amount of Charge for an Influencer Manager
On average, influencer average management charge ranges from 10% to 20% of the brand deals. Some influencer managers may ask for a monthly retainer if the contract involves helping you with content creation and brand-building activities. Another option involves managers who will negotiate for a flat fee structure for a specific project, like launching a product or something.
Other factors that managers consider when pricing influencer management services include:
- The industry – influencers in the beauty industry are easier to find and manage than those in tech. Therefore, managers typically charge the latter more.
- The extent of management – the time you involve your manager will impact their managing charge. For example, do their services include campaign reports? Do they charge a software fee for the same or charge other services?
Influencer management charge also depends on who found the deal and the deal size. For example, your manager would charge less to handle a deal when clients reach out to you than when they bring you the deal. This setup is ideal because you only pay for what your manager does. If they bring projects, you should pay more because you wouldn’t have gotten the job without their intervention.
When Should a Social Media Influencer Get a Manager?
There is no rule of thumb or a certain number of social media followers at which you should get a manager. It is ideal to hire a manager when you start getting a continuous flow of deals from brands. At this point, it is usually overwhelming to balance negotiating deals, maintaining the quality of your content, and meeting deadlines.
Sometimes an influencer may need to hire an assistant or add a new member to your team and delegate some work. However, social media influencers often need a manager or a lawyer to negotiate brand deals on their behalf and read through their contracts. Ideally, here are the signs it’s time to hire a manager:
- An influencer is getting more than one deal a week
- When the influencer starts spending less time creating content or the quality of your content depreciates
- When an influencer needs help with the financial management of legal matters
Do Managers Have Influencer Management Contracts?
Yes, they have Influencer Management Contracts – a legal document detailing the terms of engagement between the manager or agency and the influencer. The influencing industry does not have clear-cut rules and regulations. Influencer management contracts are critical and outline the rules and regulations each party must follow during and after the contract period.
The contract outlines the essential elements of the engagement, including:
- The agreement’s start date
- The rights and responsibilities of each party
- The length of the contract
- The manager’s fee or commission percentage
- Work-for-hire language
- The use rights of the recordings
- Alternative dispute resolution
- Contract termination
Find Out More About Social Media Influencer Managers.
Many social media influencers need professional help with legal contracts and financial management. Many influencing agreements today must follow the FTC Endorsement Guidelines. Influencers need managers to negotiate deals, review their contracts and offer financial counsel on issues like taxes.
Contact Chelle Law if you have any questions about influencer management or want us to review your influencer management contract.
Other Blogs of Interest
- How Do I Get an Agent as a Social Media Influencer? | Influencers and Agents
- Do Influencers Have Managers?: Need for Management for Influencers
- What Percentage Do Influencer Agencies Take? | Influencer Agency
How Do I Get a Manager as a Social Media Influencer? | Influencer and Manager
What is the best way for an influencer to find a manager? In any influencer’s social media career, there’ll be a point where it would make sense to bring in a professional to assist them with their career. And let’s distinguish between a manager and an agent because, within the influencer industry, it’s different than maybe outside of it. For the most part, in California, with actors, some laws dictate what an agent and or manager can do. And so, there are caps on the percentage that an agent can take. They need to be through a licensed agency to negotiate. A manager, at least typically, is thought to assist the actor in day-to-day duties and manage their career. In the influencer arena, at least at this point, no laws exist that dictate the definition between the two.
I find social media influencers look at social media influencer agents and managers as the same thing, it’s used interchangeably. When you want to go out and find an agent or manager, there are a few places, at least initially, where you can find them. If it’s an actual agent, it would be through a talent agency. Some individual agents out there may identify as an agent not part of an agency. That is because they don’t need to, or they could also be a manager. Most of them are maybe in a smaller agency or management company, but they’re not necessarily known as an agency.
What Is Your Ideal Manager?
So, when looking for a manager, you need to consider what type of person you want in this role. Well, one, you want someone with at least some experience in the social media industry. The benefit of having an experienced manager is they will have relationships with brands. They will know the industry-standard rate per YouTube spot, per Instagram post, some sponsored TikTok video, or something like that. Whereas if you have someone who has never done it before, I frequently have influencers on social media say, well, my friend thinks they can handle it. Okay, but there needs to be some expertise to jumpstart the influencer’s career. And only experienced managers can do that in the industry. I’m not saying someone with no experience can’t do a good job, but probably unlikely for a couple of reasons.
The manager will also have contacts with attorneys or whoever can assist in contract negotiation and review. The managers will also know where to direct the influencer. Suppose you don’t want to work with this brand, or you do want to work with another brand. The best place to look for a manager that can help your career is first with your fellow influencer friends. I mean, most influencers have influencer friends. And so, if you have friends or other influencers that you know that have management, ask them, who have you used in the past? Who do you use now? Are you happy with them? Have there been any problems now? Once someone gets big enough, they will also have people reach out to them.
Charge to the Social Media Influencers
And if you’re going to discuss potential management opportunities, then you need to ask some particular questions:
- Who else have you worked with?
- Did you have contracts with them?
- What is your commission percentage?
- Do I have to pay you after the contract ends?
- What brands have you worked with?
These are all things someone should be able to answer if they’re going to be an asset to the influencer and not someone who’s just trying to figure it out. Also, many influencers are, I don’t know if, “concerned” is the right word but are reluctant to pay.
Usually, 20% is the going rate for a manager in the influencer industry. They don’t want to pay a manager 20% of their compensation. But if you have a good manager, that person should bring vastly more than the 20% you’re paying them, as I said before, with knowledge of the brands and the pricing and that type of thing.
Yes, if you’re using someone who’s not good at their job, it could be a total money sink for you and not worth it. But if you hook up with someone who knows what they’re doing, it can skyrocket an influencer’s career. Not only the sponsorship opportunities but the career management as well. Like you want to transition from this, into this. Do you want to make personal appearances? If you’re an athlete, are there some camps associated with which you could start running? When they’re beginning, there are just a ton of different opportunities that most people don’t understand. A great manager can assist them with that.
What to Consider When Searching Online
Suppose you’ll look online. Then an agency should have a client list on their website. You may reach out to those influencers and say, hey, I’m interested in using them as management. What are your thoughts? I do find that some of the websites are not up to date. Suppose you go on there and you’ll see a whole list of people. Then, if you contact them, they’re like, no, I don’t work with them anymore. So, you need to be careful as far as that goes. If it’s just a solo person, that’s something to be a little bit concerned about. Like one thing that you want is responsiveness. If you contact your manager and they don’t get back to you for days, that’s not someone you want to work with.
I mean, everyone’s busy, so they can’t get back to you within a minute. But if you text your manager, they better get back to you relatively quickly. An influencer deserves that, just like me as an attorney. If a client contacts me, I can’t sit on it for a week. I get back to them because they have a question that needs a quick response. It’s just good business to do that. So, anyway, those are the avenues to find representation. If you’re an influencer, it makes sense to do it once you hit a certain point, and they can assist your career.
Does an Influencer Need an Agent? | Influencers and Agencies
Does a social media influencer need an agent? What does an agent do for an influencer? They can do a lot. Now, can they do it well? I guess that’s an open question. The role of an agent is to do two things: one, find sponsorship opportunities for the influencer and bring them to them, and then two, negotiate the terms of the marketing agency contract, the payment, the frequency, and how much the influencer must do. And then, they act as a shield between the sponsors and the influencer. There are plenty of influencers who are more than capable of doing this on their own. However, I’m not necessarily sure that’s the smartest business strategy.
Influencer Agents Are Not Inexpensive
You can’t do everything as an influencer. Suppose you are creating content, coming up with ideas, negotiating with the sponsors, going out, and finding deals. In that case, you will not have enough time in the day to do and focus on what you’re good at. An agent can take a huge burden away from an influencer by, as I said before, being that shield and then handling all the details of that relationship. Now, the downside of working with an agent, well, obviously, you’re giving up a percentage of whatever you’re making from the sponsors. Any agent will get a percentage of your commission from the sponsor’s compensation. Normally, that’s around 20%. So, you’re giving this agent up 20% of your income.
Is the Agent Worth the Percentage You’re Paying
Now, you also must think on the other side. That this agent should be providing more than the 20% that you’re paying them in potential opportunities. Every good agent, manager, marketing agency, whatever you call it, has established relationships with brands. Then their job is to push their people to those brands to see them as an asset and use them in their influencer role. So, a good agent should be well worth the 20% by bringing many more opportunities to the influencer than they would have if they had been doing it on their own. And then two, negotiating the compensation. I find that many influencers are just starting, and maybe they’re building their brand and doing a great job of providing great content and gaining followers.
Those influencers don’t know what their worth is. And so, if someone reaches out to them and decides to do it on their own, they have no idea if they’re receiving a fair salary or well underpaid. Whereas a good agent will tell you, you are worth this exact amount based on your metrics. The average view duration on YouTube is important, and the audience, the audience’s age, and how many people are watching are subs versus not. There are a ton of metrics that go into what makes an influencer worth it to partner with the sponsor. And then, all of the metrics the sponsors will want to see, and the agent should be great at facilitating the correct compensation for the influencer.
What Needs to Be in a Management Contract?
Now, before you enter any relationship with an agent, a marketing agency, a manager, or whatever you want to call it, you need a contract that dictates the terms of that relationship. I have found influencers who are using like a friend who’s like, oh, I know how to do this. And they go about it with a handshake which is a terrible way of doing business. As an influencer, and you are going to make money as an influencer, you are a professional. You need to act like a professional, meaning you need to have contracts with all the people working for you. And that contract needs to dictate the terms of the agreement, such as:
- How much you’re paying them
- What they’re doing for you
- Exactly how long the contract lasts
- How it terminates
- What happens if there’s a dispute
All those need to be in the contract. Suppose those things aren’t in a contract with an agent. They do pop up, where litigation, legal disputes, whatever you want to call it, can happen.
Influencer Marketing Agencies Advantages
So, does an influencer need an agent? No, not necessarily. However, if they’re good, they will be worth their weight in gold to the influencer. I can promise you that. Now, I find a lot of charlatans in this arena, meaning people that hold themselves out as having all of this experience and all these connections. So, it would help if you did your due diligence when finding an agency, an agent, or a manager. Who else have they represented in the past? Reach out to those people and ask them what their relationship was like. Are they still working together? Is there a reason why they ended their relationship? Suppose somebody can’t provide you with anyone they’ve worked with, or you’re the first client. Then, it would help if you thought again about doing that.
Think of it this way: I graduated from law school 20 years ago. And when someone talks to me about their contract, I can say, yes, I have 20 years of experience doing this. And these are all the things that I’ve done. Whereas, if someone is just out of law school and just passed the bar, would I want to use someone who’s been a lawyer for one week versus 20 years? I’m not saying they have to have 20 years of experience. They do not. But putting your career in the hands of someone without experience is just a bad business strategy. So, if you have any questions about a potential influencer management/agency contract, feel free to call my law firm.
Getting an Influencer Marketing Agency
What is the best way for a social media influencer to find an agent? At some point, as an influencer grows, it will make sense to hook up with a professional. It could be a manager or an agent marketing agency. It’s all the same thing. It’s someone going out on behalf of the influence, looking for brand sponsorship or collaboration opportunities. Management will do things for you:
- They will bring the brand deal to the influencer
- Negotiate the terms of the compensation
- Terms of the relationship
- How many content/ posts must an influencer do for a brand
- How long does the spot if doing a YouTube video have to be, and the details of the situation
- Essentially acting as a shield between the influencer and the sponsorship company
Now, what’s the best way to look for an agent if an influencer is so inclined? Well, as someone who has represented athletes in the past, I always find the best way to find an agent is through your friends. If you’re an influencer, you likely have relationships with other influencers. It is best to reach out to them and see who they may have used but terminated the relationship with in the past. That’s the best way to do it because, as an influencer, you’ll have firsthand knowledge of how the person operates. It has to be someone you trust if they’re going to give you advice on who a potential agent is. Influencers could Google around on the internet. There certainly are some larger agencies.
Avenues on Finding an Agent
Most individuals, like smaller managers and agencies, may not have a huge web presence. So, you’ll be missing out if you try to Google somebody. I don’t think that’s the best avenue. The one avenue that an Influencer absolutely should not take is utilizing a friend. Repeatedly, I find people who will say, oh, you know what? I’ve been interested in getting into being an agent or manager. And then maybe one of your friends is like, oh yeah, I can do it. I think this is a bad idea for several reasons. One, knowing the industry is extremely important for an agent. They need to know the going rate for an Instagram story, a YouTube video, or a personal appearance. You’ll not know these things if you’ve never been through this before. That will also know when to push back:
- Average expectation for the influencer
- How many appearances must they make
- What are the industry norms are
It Is Recommended to Look for an Experienced Agent
Not to say it’s impossible for someone who’s never done it before, but it isn’t easy. And it’s very likely the influencer will be leaving money on the table when going with somebody who has no experience doing it before. Plus, emotions can get, or a better way of saying it is, emotions can interfere when you have a friend also acting as a business partner. If the relationship sours in the business realm, it will also spill over into the personal realm. And most people don’t want to lose a friend over something like this. So, if you’re going to find an agent, absolutely make sure it’s somebody who is a professional. Someone who has experience doing it and then has a roster of clients they can show you.
Many agents will start in an agency, get their feet wet, learn the business, and then go off on their own. That’s probably the normal course of business. Now, does this agent have to be an attorney? No, they don’t. As an attorney myself, they certainly can bring more contract knowledge if they have experience with contracting. Still, an agent for an influencer does not have to be an attorney. I would say at least half of them are not. Now, how much does an influencer have to pay this person? That’s always a big question. It’s based upon a percentage cost of the commission. Whatever deals this person brings you and negotiates the price, they will get a percentage cost of that.
Influencer Talent Management Charge a Percentage
Very rarely are you going to find any agent influencer relationship where it’s a flat fee? Most of the time, the percentage cost is around 20%. It could be less, it could be more, but the average is around 20%. That’s considered a reasonable amount. If someone is asking you for half or 40%, that is not a reasonable amount. As an Influencer, you must do a little math equation in your mind. Alright, is the value this agent will bring me worth more than the 20% of all my deals I will have to give them? Because most of these agents are going to have what’s called an exclusive management agreement with the influencer.
That means the influencer cannot use anyone else for any deal-making. And not only that, if an influencer has a friend, family member, agent, or another influencer they know. Suppose they have anyone bring them deals independently of their current agent. However, most of the contracts will still have the influencer give whatever potential opportunity is to their agent.
And then that agent will then negotiate the deal and still get the 20% even if they had nothing to do with bringing it to the Influencer.
Agents’ Way of Securing Their Effort
Most agents fear that they will bring a great brand opportunity to an influencer. The influencer terminates the agreement and then tries to get out of having to pay the agent. That’s why a contract is extremely important. And normally, in that scenario, most influencer management contracts will have some provision that states that the influencer will owe their agent whatever state of percentage cost is. That’s usually for a year after the agreement terminates for any deals negotiated on behalf of the influencer. To wrap up, talk to your friends, and see who they’ve used. Suppose you’ll Google. I would go for news articles and see some of your favorite influencers. There may be a mention of who represents them,, and then you can contact them that way.
Certainly, there will be a threshold. Some agencies simply are not going to work with people that don’t have a certain amount of following. And that’s okay. But you should be able to find someone who is professional and reputable and can assist you with your influencer career, no matter your level.
Do Influencer Managers Have Contracts? | Need for Safe and Fair Influencer Management Agreements
Do influencer managers have contracts? In short, they better have. Suppose you are an influencer and have decided that you’ve reached a level where you think some professional representation would help you move forward. In that case, you’re going to look for an agency, a manager, a management company, or an agent. It’s all the same in the influencer realm. Outside, in other industries, like with actors, some legal definitions and laws, especially in California, dictate the different roles a manager, or agency, can have. They must be licensed through an agency. There’s a cap on the percentage they can take. Whereas in the influencer arena, at least as far as the date of this blog, it’s a gray area.
Influencer Marketing Contract Concerns
And there’s not a lot of regulation of the industry. Most of any management is all lumped into one big pot, even though they might be called something different. Suppose you have reached a point where maybe you found a social media influencer manager or an agency you’re interested in associating with. In that case, there will be, or at least they will require, an exclusive management contract between them and you. That contract will dictate all the terms of the relationship between you and the manager. The length of the agreement, how to terminate it, the commission percentage or flat fee paid to your manager, and what happens after termination. There are some things you’ll have to continue paying the manager after the agreement ends. And there’s language in there about that.
What if There’s a Dispute?
What happens if there’s a dispute? Where is that dispute heard? It’s called the venue. The responsibilities of the manager, of the influencer. The entire point of a contract is that if there are some disputes, it should be spelled out in the contract as far as somebody is in breach. Is someone not doing what they said they would? In that scenario, a contract helps avoid and resolve disputes without going to litigation or arbitration or depending upon what’s in the contract. If you find someone and they say, you know what, I don’t want to make this a formal thing.
Let’s just handshake, verbally agree to the payment, whatever, that’s an enormous red flag, and no influencer should go into that for a couple of reasons. In almost any management contract, there will be some language stating that after the contract terminates, the manager will still receive a percentage of any deals they brought to the influencer for a period. Usually a year.
It’s Usually an Exclusive Management Contract
Also, it will have language that states the exclusive management for the influencer. Maybe if a friend, another influencer, or a sponsor reaches out directly to the influencer and says, here’s an opportunity we’d like you to take, there will be language in the contract that states the manager has to be given all of those deals, no matter what. And they’ll still get a percentage of those deals, even if they initially didn’t bring them to the influencer. And then also, how did the relationship end? Do you have to give some notice, which is typical in a contract? What happens if one party is in breach of contract? Does the agreement automatically renew after the initial term? Influencers have to figure out all this stuff in advance. Going into a relationship without a contract is a recipe for disaster.
Content and Brand Language in Influencer Contracts
Now, if you are an influencer and you’ve received a management contract, it needs to be reviewed by an attorney. It’s just reality. Some say, ah, I don’t want to throw down the money. When I review many employment contracts for healthcare providers and physicians, we can save or gain hundreds of thousands of dollars for these physicians. And they’re concerned about spending a tiny fraction of that on a review. If you’re doing it the smart way, you need to get a review from somebody. That person can assist you in knowing, alright, what is an average percentage? What should the language look like? As I said before, all the things that you should be concerned about. If a manager brings you their contract, it will be slanted towards the manager.
That’s just how it works. And so, influencers need to push back, and everything is up for negotiation. The good thing about negotiating for influencers is that the influencers have leverage. You could choose anybody and the manager. Although they can bring a lot to the table, they also stand to make a lot of money off the influencer. And so, influencers have some leverage in making changes to the contract.
Aim to Reach a Compromise When Signing a Contract
If a manager gives you a contract and they give you a take it or leave it to offer, you need to leave it and move on. There should be no take-it-or-leave-it offers when it comes to an influencer management contract. You need to make sure that you’re comfortable signing the agreement.
Usually, in a good negotiation, both parties feel aggrieved in some way. So, both parties had to give a little bit. But if you get to that point, that usually means it’s a good compromise and probably a decent agreement for both parties. So, yes, there absolutely needs to be a contract between influencers and their managers.
What Is Exclusive Management of an Influencer | Influencer Management Issues?
Suppose you are an influencer at some point. In that case, you will likely reach out to an agency, a specific agent, a manager, or someone who will facilitate the brand sponsorship opportunities that any influencer can get. And you will ultimately sign a contract as well, which kind of dictates the terms of the relationship between the influencer and the agency. In all those contracts, there will be a clause called exclusive management. And this is going to dictate what the influencer can and can’t do. Exclusive management means that whoever you sign with will be the only party facilitating deals between you and a brand.
So, even if a brand contacted the influencer directly, let’s say. Suppose they had an exclusive management contract. Then, there will likely be language that states that even if we had nothing to do with this deal. Suppose someone contacts you for a brand endorsement opportunity. It would help if you referred them to the agency.
Then, the agency would be the ones that undertake the negotiation with the brand sponsor. They would reach an agreement. The agency would present that brand endorsement opportunity to the influencer. Additionally, it’s the job of any manager or agency to go out and find brand endorsement deals for the influencer. And once again, they would be the only party that would be allowed to do that. Suppose you had a friend that came to you with a deal or another agent. Suppose you have an exclusive management contract with an agency or an agent. In that case, they will not be able to get compensated for whatever they bring to you. You would be required to refer them to your agency. And then, once again, they would be the ones to facilitate the brand endorsement opportunity.
Influencers Pay After the Agreement Terminates
Now, why is this? Quite simply. If someone manages you, they’ll want to benefit from the commission percentage cost negotiated between you and the brand. 20% is an industry-standard amount. Suppose someone brought you a brand sponsorship opportunity that was 2000 a month. If they got 20% of that, you would get paid every month. Then, the manager would receive 20% of 2000. And then that is how the compensation would occur between the two parties.
There’ll be clauses stating if the influencer decides to terminate the management agreement. Then, any sponsors with whom the influencer has had a relationship with the management company still have to pay the commission percentage cost for a period after the contract termination. Most of the time, that’s one year. Let’s say you established a relationship with a meal prep company. And then you decide, you know what, I’m going to move on to a different manager. However, the meal prep company said, ” Hey, even though you’re not with the manager, we still want to associate with you. The contract would likely state, if it’s an exclusive management contract, that even if they are no longer your manager. You still must pay them the 20% for a year after the contract terminates. That’s standard.
Any management company’s biggest fear is bringing a bunch of deals to an influencer. The influencer terminates the contract. Then they avoid paying the 20% to the agency or manager, whoever brought them the deal.
Negotiate the Look Back Period
Now, where influencers can negotiate is the amount of time after the contract ends. That kind of payback percentage cost would last. Then the percentage cost of the agent or manager would be negotiable. Are exclusive management contracts good or bad? Well, for the most part, they’re good. Most influencers are not as savvy as a reputable marketing agency. And influencers have established relationships with companies and have a broad reach. They can generally bring influencers things they wouldn’t know how to bring to themselves or have the contacts to facilitate those deals.
Influencers Must Be Wary of Bad Managers
And then the agencies can also push their people onto the different marketing opportunities and say, hey, look, we have a client, they fit this profile. We think they’d be a great match for your brand. And for the most part, influencers, although they could do those things themselves, it’s much quicker. It establishes their identity and brand faster if they work with a marketing firm, an agent, or a manager. There will be some people who tell influencers, you know, I can do all of these things for you. And the percentage cost may be even more than 20%. Always look to see the track record of this person. Who else have they represented, and even contact the people they’ve represented? That is to determine if they’ve done a good job.
Usually, people who are bad or burn managers can quickly get a bad reputation, which spreads amongst the influencers. You can figure out, alright, this person is just trying to take advantage of the influencers. But always do your due diligence when signing an exclusive management contract because there will be repercussions after the contract ends.
Do Influencers Pay Their Managers?
Do influencers pay their management? In short, yes, they do. It would be strange for a manager to work for free. Let’s first talk about management in the industry. There are some clear distinctions between the influencer realms as far as management goes. As far as social media influencers go, an agent, an agency, a management company, and a manager are pretty much the same thing. Now, in the acting arena in California, there are guilds, unions, and laws that dictate how much an agent can charge an actor. Those, at least at this point, don’t apply to social media influencers. Management is anyone assisting the influencer in facilitating sponsorship opportunities, personal appearances, or anything like that.
Then there also is going to be some exclusive relationship between the two. Let’s say an influencer has hit the point of wanting some professional representation. He can find a management company. That company will present the influencer with a contract, usually called an exclusive management contract, exclusive management, or something like that. And then that contract will dictate the terms of the relationship. And then obviously, one of the main parts of that is the payment. An average percentage of an influencer’s commission for a manager or management company is around 20% of whatever they bring to the influencer.
Suppose they facilitate a 30,000-dollar-a-year deal with a food prep company. Then, the manager would get 20% of that 30,000 whenever handed to the influencer. That’s an average amount. Now, it could vary. It certainly could be less or more. But if you’re talking with someone and that someone is saying, oh, I take half or 40%. They’re just trying to take advantage of you. That’s crazy.
What to Think About Regarding Exclusive Management Contract
Now, two things to think about are exclusive management contracts, meaning they will be the only company/person that can assist the influencer and facilitate deals. So, suppose an influencer has an exclusive management contract, and a friend, another influencer, or a brand reaches out to them directly. In that case, the contract will require them to send that to their manager. And then that manager will then negotiate/facilitate the deal and take a 20% commission.
So, you can’t get out of paying your manager the 20% for any deal that you utilize while under the exclusive management contract. Managers do that because they don’t want an influencer to funnel deals through a third party. That is to avoid having to pay their manager anything.
Commission Percentage After the Contract Termination
There also will be language in the contract that states the influencer will still have to pay their manager after the contract terminates, which surprises many. If a manager brings someone a deal, then let’s say it’s a one-year deal. Suppose the influencer terminates the agreement. Then, the manager will state, or at least the management contract, that the influencer will still have to pay 20% of whatever that manager brought them. That is usually for a year after the contract ends.
Let’s say you’re in the fitness industry, you have an apparel deal you just signed, and then you decide to terminate the agreement with the manager. You’ll not get out of having to pay them 20%. You’ll have to pay them 20% for, as I said before, a year after the contract ends. Now, that can be negotiable: the amount of time you need to pay the manager or even the percentage. You might want to try to reduce it over time. But you’ll rarely have an exclusive management contract that doesn’t have some language that states the influencer will still have to pay the manager for specific deals.
They don’t want to bring a great deal to an influencer. The influencer terminates the contract, takes the deal, and then avoids having to pay the manager any commission percentages. That’s fair. So, that’s a little bit about how much managers get paid by influencers.
How Much Does an Influencer Manager Charge? | Influencers Charge Costs
How much does an influencer manager charge? What commission percentage will a manager take from any of the compensation received by an influencer? First, let’s discuss the distinction between an agent and a manager. An agent normally is thought of in the actor realm, and specific laws dictate how much an agent can charge an actor. They have to be a member of a licensed agency. And some specific rules dictate what they can and can’t do. The influencer market is, at this point, pretty much unregulated. I find that actors have dual roles of agents and managers who do separate things for them.
Cost of an Influencer Manager or Agent
Whereas I find most influencers think of an agent and manager as the same thing. And that would be somebody who facilitates business opportunities for the influencer. Then, it assists in negotiating the price and dealing with the contract. Most influencers think of that in the same capacity simply because there’s no need to have both as an influencer. I mean, one of the biggest influencers could have a manager who handles the day-to-day issues for talent. Whereas the agent generally handles the nuts-and-bolts business stuff. But for most influencers, that’s unnecessary. One person can do the job, so that can be known as an agent and a manager. As far as a percentage goes, the capped percentage of agents for actors in California is 10%. In contrast, the influencer market is essentially unregulated at this point.
Most social media influencer management agencies or managers charge around 20% commission. It can be less or a little bit more, but somewhere between 10 to 20% is a standard amount. Now, that certainly is negotiable. It is based on the manager’s experience, the client base they have, and the proven track record. Suppose you have a manager who doesn’t have much experience. In that case, you shouldn’t pay them as much, at least initially, until they prove themselves. How the compensation would work is the influencer is designated as an independent contractor, and then the sponsor will pay. Usually, the payment will go through the agency or manager. The manager will take their cut. Then, the rest will go into whatever designated bank account the influencers want the money to go into.
Terms After the Contract Termination
And then one consideration is after the contract terminates. There’s a clause that states the manager will continue receiving a percentage of any deal they bring to the influencer. That is even after the contract terminates. Let’s give an example. Let’s say it’s a fitness influencer. They have a sponsorship with an apparel company, the manager negotiated the deal, got 20% from whatever it was, and the influencer, for whatever reason, terminated the contract with the manager. Well, that clause will then state, for normally, a year after the contract ends, the influencer still has to pay 20% if they decide to stay with the apparel company back to the manager.
The reason why managers do this is that what they don’t want to do is get a deal and bring it to the influencer. Maybe it’s an awesome opportunity. The influencer terminates the agreement, still takes the deal and then avoids having to pay the manager any commission.
Now, everything’s negotiable. You can certainly try to negotiate to reduce the time you have to pay the manager after the contract terminates. You can also reduce the percentage by a quarter, so if you go 20% in Q1, 15, 10, 5, or something like that. But you’re rarely going to get a management contract that doesn’t have some language like that. I mean, honestly, it’s a reasonable request by a manager. It would be unfair if they would bring a deal to someone and then have that person avoid having to pay them anything.
Exclusive Management Contract
Another thing to consider is whether the manager has an exclusive relationship with the talent. Normally, any management contract will be exclusive. That means the influencer cannot use anyone else to facilitate/negotiate any of the sponsorship opportunities. Suppose a friend or another influencer reaches out directly to sponsors. Anything that comes to the influencer must go back to the manager. Then the manager would be the one who negotiates the deal and would get the percentage.
Once again, a manager doesn’t want an influencer from getting around having to pay them by having stuff funneled through either a friend or contacting the places directly. The manager’s role is to find opportunities that the influencer couldn’t do for themselves and then negotiate the price. And hopefully, they’ll bring in 20% more than they’re taking. So, in the long run, it’s a win-win for both parties. So, that’s how much most influencer managers make.