Do Influencers Pay Their Managers?: Payment of Managers for Influencers
Do influencers pay their management? In short, yes, they absolutely 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. An agent, an agency, a management company, and a manager, as far as social media influencers go, are pretty much the same thing. Now, in the acting arena in California, there are guilds, there are unions, and there are laws that dictate how much an agent can charge an actor. Those simply, at least at this point, don’t apply to social media influencers. What I’m talking about management, I mean, anyone who is assisting the influencer in facilitating sponsorship opportunities, personal appearances, anything like that.
Influencer Manager Pay
Then there also is going to be some exclusive relationship between the two. Let’s say an influencer has hit the point where they want some professional representation, they find a social media influencer management company. That company is going to present the influencer with a contract, and it’s usually going to be called an exclusive management contract, exclusive management, something like that. And then in that contract, it’s going to dictate the terms of the relationship. And then obviously, one of the main parts of that is the payment. A normal percentage of commission for a manager or management company for an influencer is around 20% of whatever they bring to the influencer. So, if 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 it’s paid to the influencer. That’s a standard amount.
Now, it could vary, certainly could be less, it could be more. But if you’re talking with someone and they’re saying, oh, I take half or 40%, they’re just trying to take advantage of you. That’s crazy. Now, two things to think about: as I said before, these are going to be exclusive management contracts, meaning, they’re going to be the only company/person that can assist the influencer and facilitate deals. So, if an influencer has an exclusive management contract and a friend, another influencer, or a brand reaches out to them directly, they’re going to be required by the contract to send that to their manager. And then that manager will then negotiate/facilitate the deal and take a 20% commission. Other topics of interest include:
So, you can’t get out of paying your manager the 20% for any deal that you utilize while under the exclusive management contract. I mean, the reason why managers do that is they don’t want an influencer to, I guess, funnel deals through a third party, just to avoid having to pay their manager anything. There also will be language in the contract that states the influencer will still have to pay their manager after the contract terminates, which is a surprise to many. If a manager brings someone a deal and then let’s say it’s a one-year deal. If the influencer terminates the agreement, the manager will state, or at least the management contract will state, that the influencer will still have to pay 20% of whatever that manager brought them, usually for a year after the contract ends.
Should an Influencer Give Up 20%?
Let’s say you’re in the fitness industry, you have an apparel deal that you just signed, and then you decide to terminate the agreement with the manager. You’re not going to get out of having to pay them 20%. You’re going to have to pay them 20% for, as I said before, a year after the contract ends. Now, that can be negotiable either the amount of time that you must pay the manager or even the percentage. You might want to try to reduce it over time. But it’s very rare that you’ll have an exclusive management contract that doesn’t have some language that states the influencer will still have to pay the manager for certain deals. I mean, they just 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 of the commission percentages. That’s fair. So, that’s a little bit about how much managers get paid by influencers.
Finding Influencer Management
I find for social media influencers, they look at agents and managers as the same thing, so the term could be used interchangeably. When you do want to go out and find an agent or manager, there are a couple of places, at least initially, where you can find them. If it’s an actual agent, it would be through a talent agency. There are some individual agents out there, or maybe they just identify as an agent where they’re not part of an agency because they’re not required to, or they also could be a manager. Most of them are maybe in a smaller agency or management company, but they’re not necessarily known as an agency. So, when you are looking for a manager, you need to think about, alright, what type of person do I want in this role?
Well, one, you want someone with at least some experience in the industry. The entire benefit of having an experienced manager is they’re going to have relationships with brands, they’re going to know what the industry-standard rate for a YouTube spot, Instagram post, some sponsored TikTok video, something like that. Whereas if you have someone who has never done it before, for instance, I frequently have influencers say, well, my friend thinks they can handle it. Okay, but there needs to be some level of expertise to really jumpstart the influencer’s career. And that can only be done through someone who has experience in the industry. I’m not saying it’s impossible for someone with no experience to do a good job, but probably unlikely for a couple of reasons.
One, the manager will also have contacts with attorneys or whoever, that can assist in contract negotiation and review. The managers, as I said before, will also know where to direct the influencer as far as, alright, 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 really 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 have people reach out to them as well.
Influencer Management Contract Questions?
Contract Review, Termination Issues, and more!