You Manage Digital Influencers...


I’ve been working with the team at DBA (Digital Brand Architects) for about a year now, helping to facilitate partnerships with their talent on behalf of the brands who hire Matte Black for influencer marketing campaigns. I didn’t always understand why managers were necessary. But I soon found that managers working on behalf of influencers was kind of like us (a marketing agency) working on behalf of the brand. These girls are pros. They understand the value in their talent and I really respect them for always having their backs…
— Editor’s Side Note

So, you manage digital influencers…What exactly does that mean?

I work with my clients to build their brands—both online and offline. This growth comes in many different forms, from content on their blogs and social platforms that promote lifestyle brands and products to securing opportunities for their own collections, books, personal appearances, and digital or television series’. My most successful clients are those who are dedicated to their digital platforms but welcome the opportunity to expand in other areas. Ultimately, we work towards turning our clients into household names, and in doing so, most of my days are spent securing opportunities that increase their growth within their respective verticals.


How can a brand best choose what types of influencers they want to work with?

Don’t just look at an influencer’s analytics and the number of followers he or she might have; look at the content, the quality of work, the art direction of the photographs, the creativity in their copy, the ability to relate to their audience and followers. Just because an influencer might have a million followers on Instagram or YouTube, doesn’t mean those million are completely engaged. I also think it’s beyond inspiring to find talent who find fun and creative ways to amplify a brand. I’ve seen talent work on behalf of a brand that I thought was antiquated or stale, and I’m amazed at what can be done. My clients are able to take everyday products and present them in creative and elevated ways that really showcase a brand in a different light.


Describe some of the most successful brand partnerships.

It may sound cliché, but when a brand lets talent take the creative reigns, the result is always what it should be. In the last year, my client and interior designer Amber Lewis (Amber Interiors) re-did her mother’s kitchen on behalf of Lowe’s, Gaby Dalkin (What’s Gaby Cooking) photographed and developed all of the recipes for an Anthropologie Thanksgiving Story, and DIYer Mandi Gubler (Vintage Revivals) renovated and rehabbed a 1969 Bell Camper on behalf of Home Depot. In each instance, the brand provided talent with key messaging, key products, and a sense of the brand aesthetic, but talent ultimately called the shots. Because they had complete creative liberty, talent did what they do best - they designed, rehabbed, recipe tested, photographed, staged, and created a narrative on behalf of each brand that not only told a story, but made for some MAJORLY Instagrammable and viral digital moments, ultimately growing brand awareness.


What makes a brand partnership unsuccessful?

When a brand gets in their own way…The only reason to employ an influencer is if you want to engage that influencer’s audience, and who knows their audience better than the person who is responsible for growing their following to begin with. When talent are able to speak to their audience in a way that feels organic and natural, we see the best results. The partnerships that I’ve seen have the least engagement were those where talent wasn’t able to use their organic voice.


How much does an influencer typically charge? Does it go off of follower size, engagement rate, etc.?

There is no standard answer to this. Each influencer is different and the scope of each product varies so much. Elements that contribute to an influencer’s rates are scale of the project, number of creative assets, etc. Our talent puts all their energy into their work product and it shows, and in turn we work just as hard to ensure they are compensated accordingly. We obviously take into account analytics and traffic, but that is by no means all we look at.