When we last touched on the topic of Influencer Agencies, we shared a guide on how content creators can get an influencer agent. While the benefits of having an agent seem apparent, we wonder if there are any negatives to it. While we did speak with a couple content creators who are have left or are in the process of leaving their agencies – we’re opting to save that for a future post! Instead, we decided to speak with the people that enable content creators to get paid: PR people and marketers. What does PR think of influencers with agent representation?
What PR Think of Influencers with Agents
We contacted several powerful PR people in Canada to get their take on influencers with agents. While we initially received messages indicating they would LIKE to share their honest answer, they professionally couldn’t because it might leave them in a precarious position. So, while we tend to stay away from ‘anonymity’, situations like this necessitate it. Once assured their response would be anonymous – PR people did not hold back! Here are some of their answers.
An Overall Dislike for Influencers with Agents
“I’ve worked with influencers before and after they signed with agents, and I have to say that I don’t care much for agencies. All communication is impersonal and I find that it makes it harder to form authentic relationships between the influencers and the brand. Often, through agencies, details fall through the cracks – while it might make things a little easier for the influencer, it makes it more challenging for the brand and their PR team.”
“And then there’s the issue of compensation. Every single influencer I’ve ever worked with who’s signed with an agent has (not surprisingly) increased their rates significantly, which has posed problems for clients. This has introduced a necessity for a great deal of negotiation. We’ve even had to forgo partnerships with influencers who would have been a perfect fit because we couldn’t settle on a price.”
Money Left on the Table
“We did two campaigns with the two influencers that were independent for the first campaign and with an agency for the second. The brand remained the same. The first campaign they were each paid $750, and the results were on target in terms of driven traffic and views. The second campaign was a 6-month contract at $750 per month. The agency said their rate was $2500 per month. We declined, at which point a two-week negotiation occurred.
We settled on $1250 for the first month, and an extension for 4 months if the first month was a success. Results were not achieved, and so the contract ended after the first payment.”
A Breakdown in Communication
“Adding a middleman to the equation has stripped collaborations of authenticity, has caused confusion on key messaging for the campaign, resulting in missed deadlines and faulty content. It seems like it results in a lot less income for the influencers involved. For example, there are influencers I will never work with again based on how their managers have handled their business.”
New School vs Old School Provides Value
“For those influencers who are very busy, an agency helps them keep on track with programs. My preference changes depending on the experience of the influencer. The more experience they have the better they are at direct communication, while new influencers could benefit from the support of an agency.”
Easier to Work With But…
“Influencers with agents are easier to work with because of the focus on business. I like having a single point of contact who keeps the influencer on a leash. But, their agents really prioritize money over fit. Clients with big money don’t always enable creators to remain authentic.”
Too Early to Know For Sure
“Most influencers we work with, even the biggest ones don’t really need an agent. Education and business training yes, but having an agent seems more like a rush to capitalize on a hot industry. Gold rush more than prudent business. But time will tell if they actually provide value, or simply take a percentage for little work.”
Lead Image Credit to Headway.