Like YouTube stars, full-time fashion bloggers and those people that work from cafes during the week, the influencer manager is yet another elusive job title that has us staring jealously and wondering “what the hell do you do all day?”
Genevieve Day has one of these jobs, and although her friends think she goes to brunch all day long (I hear ya sister) the truth is actually far more… work-heavy.
As the founder and director of talent agency, Day Mgmt, Gen is responsible for the careers of a bunch of bloggers, models, actors and media personalities that you probably already follow on Instagram – think Tully Smyth, Jess Alizzi and Sam Wines.
Still confused? Maybe we should just let Gen explain.
OK, so what does an influencer talent manager do?
Basically, I arrange sponsored collaborations between fashion and lifestyle brands, and my influencers. This mainly involves a whole lot of emailing, as well as negotiating deals and managing the execution of social media collaborations.
It’s a very millennial job – one that didn’t exist when you were growing up. Why did you start Day Mgmt?
Growing up, I either wanted to be a vet or a journalist! My background is in public relations, where I noticed the digital landscape shift before my eyes with an increased focus on social media and influencers. At this time, there were only a handful of agencies working as talent managers and I saw a gap in the market – especially here in Melbourne. So in May 2015, I started Day Mgmt and I haven't looked back since.
Where do you think this industry came from? Is it because we can’t put down our phones?
The industry is definitely a result of us all being social media obsessed. It's a combination of voyeurism with a bit of narcissism and a lot of consumerism.
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
I'm not convinced my family or friends know what I do for a living. People see Instagram posts of brunch meetings and attending events and think that's what my job entails. What they don't see are the many, many hours spent behind-the-scenes making the magic happen.
What do you really do?
The reality is that I'm on my phone and emails 90 per cent of the day. There is no 9-5, and in a digital world it's almost impossible to switch off.
In the mornings, I'll jump online and respond to collaboration enquiries before having a company work in progress meeting to ensure all our jobs are on track. From there, I'll have a few conference calls with talent and brands, and then jump back on the emails. I might have a working lunch or attend a product launch in the evenings to break up the laptop time, but most of my days (and nights) are spent communicating with all the stakeholders involved in these collaborations.
What is it actually like managing bloggers, models and actors?
It's a lot more complicated than people think! There are a lot of factors and layers that go into every collaboration, and there is no cookie-cutter approach – every influencer has a particular method to the madness of how they like to operate, so we have to be agile and accommodating.
What do you think brands look for in sponsored content or ambassadors?
Authenticity and engagement. Beautiful imagery is a must, but also having a distinct style that will stand out – especially in a market that is so saturated.
Haters gonna hate, right? What do you say back to those that believe bloggers and Instagram stars are getting a free ride?
I'd tell them to have a look at all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
It’s risky territory with the digital landscape changing all the time. Do you think this industry is a phase or here to stay?
While Instagram continues to develop its business offerings, I think it's here to stay. As social media promotions are increasingly being recognised and regulated, this only proves it’s an effective mode of advertisement. Since running Day Mgmt for just over two years, I've seen brands devote more and more of their ad spend to social, and larger corporate companies coming to the party as well.
What’s next on the horizon for the talent industry?
There has definitely been a shift to the micro-influencer with larger engagement percentages, and a push for video content, but it'll be interesting to see what comes next.