Our next Q&A feature comes from our amazing Director of Talent, Janie Saunders where she breaks down what exactly she looks for when scouting new talent for the Parker Fam!
image credit: @gofitjo
Q: Down to business: How do you find talent? Is it scouring Instagram?
A. Sometimes, yes! We are always on the lookout for new influencers to work with and it can be as simple as sending someone a DM or email, but most often we get applications via our website or referrals from people we currently manage.
Q: When looking for new talent, how much is carisma compared to following?
A: While there are specific metrics/numbers we look for, it ultimately comes down to what content that person is putting out into the world and how they are using their platform to influence others. We believe in using social media for good and that is always our top priority.
Q: Any definitive prerequisites for scouting talent?
A: As the influencer marketing space has evolved, so have our benchmarks for who we manage. While we don’t have definitive prerequisites, there are a few things we always look for including: following count (typically upwards of 150k), strong content quality, a high level of engagement (story views, link clicks, likes + comments), volume of brand partnerships, and if someone is active on other platforms outside of Instagram (personal blog, YouTube, etc.)
Q: What is the process of booking partnerships after signing with an agency?
A: We handle all of the upfront negotiations, combing through contracts, etc. Then once a partnership is booked we continue as the main point of contact for the brand and project manage it till it’s complete and ready to be invoiced. Basically we oversee the entire process from start to finish so the influencer can focus on content creation while we take care of the rest!
Q: How important is it to have quality photos / content when reaching out to agencies?
A:It is everything! We see how valuable it is on the brand side for them to be able to repurpose influencer’s content, and overall it’s just important to stand out and have a strong brand presence (even if it’s an iphone photo!).
Q: How do you pair talent with an agent?
A: When we get applicants that align with us as a company I will share with our team and see if anyone in particular loves to follow them or is wanting to add someone to their roster. Or sometimes a manager will specifically seek them out to work with.
Q: How is Parker’s goal of representing more of a diverse roster coming together? How will you continue to grow the diverse talent market?
A: While diversity has always been important to us, we 100% recognize we can do better and have set more strategic goals for our roster moving forward. I’m really proud of the strides we’ve already made as a company to make sure we stick to our word (from zoom calls, to team trainings, to new talent we have brought on).
It doesn’t just stop there though. This will be an ongoing effort. It’s important for us to have a stronger representation of black creators, POC, sexual identity, gender (our roster is mostly made up of women, etc.). As a company, it is our top priority that EVERYONE feels like they are seen, heard and valued when working with us and we understand the power we have within the influencer space as a whole. Part of our company manifesto is, “we believe that everyone has a unique story and there is a space for everyone’s story to be told” and that has never rang more true for us.
Thank you for your incredible insight Janie! xx