Just Authorize Already!

Most people working in established industries rarely see the rulebook change. In the years I’ve been working with social media influencers, I’ve seen the rulebook change about every 6 months. That’s what you get when you’re defining a new medium, I guess!

Let’s talk about data permission through the lens of influencer marketing. In order to bring creators and advertisers together, the content needs to fit the sponsors’ identity, and there needs to be some true synergies between each party. But most importantly, advertisers need to check that the creator’s account reaches their target audience demographics and geography, and verify the authenticity of that audience. It’s easy to see if an influencer aligns with your brand message, identity, and values but much harder to understand audience and performance data by simply looking at an influencer’s social profile.

The best way for advertisers to access private audience data for an influencer’s social profile is by providing authorized data access to a trusted, secure third party.

The authorization process allows an influencer to grant permission to a third-party platform to access private data about his or her social account. For example, you’ve probably encountered a social authorization when logging into a tool like Spotify using Google or Facebook. At Paladin, our platform allows influencers to provide authorized data access to their trusted agents and managers in order to help identify ways to grow their audience and work with advertisers on branded content campaigns.

Providing an authorization offers valuable insight beyond publicly available metrics like followers, views, and engagements into meaningful data like audience demographics, impressions, and watch time. Such data points are essential for helping advertisers make an informed decision about which influencers to work with on a given marketing campaign.

Influencers, I know you’re worried about your account security and data privacy, but this system gives you complete control, unlike past relationships with MCNs. Let’s examine why this approach is also better for your needs :

  • Provide data access without sharing login credentials – Sharing your social media passwords, even with someone you trust, can lead to accidents or data breaches. Authorizing a third party to access your data is a much better alternative because it allows you to grant or remove data access at any time via your social account settings. Further, you can choose to only grant authorization to apps requesting ‘read only’ permissions (like Paladin), preventing others from posting, deleting, or changing your content.
  • Demonstrate your value to potential advertisers – There’s a ton of money up for grabs at the moment. By providing your agent or manager with real-time data, they can work on your behalf much faster and share your story with potential sponsors.
  • Ditch the Screenshots – Tired of sending screenshots? Agents and managers are sick of asking for them too. The faster your representation can report on a campaign, the faster you get paid, and they can start working on the next one.
  • Be a Market Leader – The more you know about what sponsors expect and how agencies operate, the more likely you’ll be frequently approached with offers.

Influencer agencies, there’s a ton of you popping up, seemingly overnight. I’m not the only one who’s noticed; brands have picked up on it too. Claiming that “influencers just won’t authorize” is the equivalent of trying to sell TV inventory without a Neilson report. Let’s think more about the advantages of authorizing:

  • Outshine the competition – With a complete roster of authorized social accounts, you can crank out RFPs at light speed, rather than individually sourcing data from creators and manually building presentations.
  • Get REAL data – Unfortunately, some influencers exaggerate their reach or even photoshop screenshots of their data, which can lead to unrealistic expectations and false reporting. Authorized data doesn’t lie. It gives you a direct line to real-time data to make sure you’re working with the right partners every time.
  • Streamline your communication workflow – Continuous access to authorized data allows your team to move much faster. Build RFPs that demonstrate your trusted relationship with the influencers you’re recommending to help shorten the sales cycle and inspire confidence in your client.
  • Be a greater asset – With the right data permissions, your team can offer more complete support to creators. Channel optimization and audience growth are established services that have been offered for years. *Prediction* The first influencer agency that can offer effective channel management at scale will break the model and move onto the next level of industry recognition.

As the changing nature of this industry has forced me to do, I’m always anticipating what’s coming next. But what isn’t changing is the basic data points on which we buy and sell media. Therefore pushing for 100% authorization within your stable of influencers is a safe goal to aim for.

Need some help getting that strategy off of the ground? Shoot me a message. I’m happy to help!

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Adventures in Digital Talent Management: 3 Experiences You Might Have as an Influencer Manager

Working in the digital Wild West of influencer marketing is new, thrilling, and often challenging. Together, though, we’re finding ways to mature our industry in order to survive and succeed. In this article, I’d like to share my experiences from my previous career as a talent manager, and advocate for the importance of network/creator transparency.

1. Hell hath no fury like a creator who needs to get paid.

“My rent is due next week, my microphone broke and I barely have enough cash to get a beer this Friday night. When do I get paid for my campaign?”

I’m sure that every influencer manager can relate to this question. Creators, used to the fast-paced service industry, want to get their wishes granted as quickly as possible. Understandable, since after all: money talks, and it’s not always easy being a digital influencer. Since they rely on your payment system, they have no shame in emailing, texting, calling, Whatsapping, Facebooking, Tweeting, Instagramming, Skyping and pinging you every Friday and Saturday night until they receive their funds. Most times, they do this while you’re still waiting for the PO number so you can actually bill your client! ARGGG!!

As an influencer manager you have to deal with creative digital talent that has no clue about essential details such as invoices, contracts, and client relationships. After all, this is YOUR job.

The creator usually trusts you because you’re an amazing human being with interpersonal skills. Yes – they like you, they trust you and they (hopefully) listen to you.

You are an irreplaceable factor for them to succeed. Be flattered! But since their dependence can be a double-edged sword, also remain vigilant. If they leave, you have the possibility of losing everything that you built up. You need to bust your ass – and show it – in order to actually earn your 20% commission! If the creator doesn’t see the actual benefit of working with you, it can be a slippery slope. This is because:

2. Influencers don’t always think they need you.

“Why am I paying you any commission for my work? I might as well have done this without you and put the extra cash in my own pocket.”

“I know you have proposed the other blonde girl for this campaign. Why don’t you ever propose me to a client?”

I’ve noticed over the years that for some talent, nurturing them is so important that it can take up your entire day: relaying information and comforting them. After all, you don’t want to lose your talent to another agency. The creators want to be sure of having access to the best business deals, feeling confident in how often you try to get them into a campaign and mostly, feeling safe with you. There is no business without trust. This requires valuable time and hand-holding from your side, when you need those same hours to focus on building proposals, compiling campaign reports, and sending those damn invoices to get your talent paid!

Most talent managers have multiple influencers to manage. And talent behavior varies from simple back-and-forth on negotiations and tax handling to Jenna Maroney levels of hysteria (from 30 Rock, if you aren’t familiar). One time, I was working with an A-list celebrity who didn’t want to join in on a campaign because one of his rivals was in it as well. The talent cancelled…10 hours before the shoot. European contracts are not super strict, so the talent just refused to show up on set….The solution was certainly not to threaten the talent, so guess who could fix the matter?

3) Talent manager to the rescue.

During those situations you’ll have to do something like I did: put on your talent manager super power suit and comfort the client, the agency, and the old talent, while finding a new talent, keeping the financial deal intact, and offering the same (or better!) reach+engagements. These crises make you stand out from the crowd and allow you to be a warrior for all parties (even though your client does hate you for a few minutes).

Of course I told the talent that they were never ever allowed to do that again, and that they have to consider such things way in advance. It kind of feels like you’re raising a child. Nurture and praise them, but call them out at moments they need it most.

Sometimes it seems like you can never win. There is not enough time to curate, negotiate, administer, and communicate with all your creators and clients all day every day, while keeping the manager-talent relationship light and fun.

My solution to this? Eliminate the yucky details and automate, so you can focus on relationships.

I don’t manage talent anymore but ever since I joined Paladin, I’ve been able to help talent managers alleviate their workload with solutions to automate their payments, contracts, and more. Not to mention curating and packaging talent for campaigns, and automating engagement reports for the brand client. No delays, all the interactive displays you could want, all in the cloud. The talent have their payments in the correct amount and on time, and the brands have all the engagement data they could want. You’re showing transparency, and everyone’s happy.

Heck, with automated solutions you can even evaluate your creators’ channels through auditing, so you can praise them for their 25% growth over the past six months or give some tough love on their lack of regular uploads. Doesn’t that feel good?!

Say goodbye to those damn Excel sheets and email searches and you can spend the extra hours on nurturing your creators.


Sebastian Wulff is an award-winning child actor, video producer, social media manager and influencer manager from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Throughout his professional career, he has learned the challenges of being in front of and behind the camera first-hand. He recently moved to Los Angeles to explore the online video industry in the United States and to advocate for a more mature industry globally. As a growth manager at Paladin he handles clients throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States.

If you’d like to learn more about the automation solutions Sebastian described, contact him at [email protected].

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Request a demo

We would be happy to provide a custom
demo of our solutions.

*

*

*

*

*

Success

We'll be in touch with you shortly to arrange your custom demo.

RETURN TO WEBSITE