Last month, there were 28 849 new gaming channels added on YouTube. More interestingly, the channels with over 1 million subscribers, on average, grew by 2.1%. As for the channels with 100K – 1M, and 5 – 100K subscriber count increased by 9.6% and 17.6% accordingly. The rise of modern influencers has led to the increase of paid product placements. But, what happens and what should you do when you are the influencer who is in the middle of dealing with all of these changes? When’s the time to consider hiring a manager to help you grow your business?
At Matchmade, we work closely with both sponsors (advertisers) and influencers, and made it our mission to make influencer marketing great easy and transparent for everyone involved. We interviewed four influencers (anonymously this time) about when and why they decided to hire a manager. Here are our recommendations for the right time to hire a manager for your channel:
1. When you’re getting sponsorship deals more than once a week
Yes, it’s exciting to receive sponsorships from brands because it means that you’re reaching a valuable audience with quality content. But, dealing with paying sponsors can become overwhelming quickly, as receiving offers from multiple companies more than once a week can make it more difficult to manage expectations and execute your current content schedule. If you’re an influencer who is just starting out, you might want to think ahead and prepare for questions companies will be asking when you’re big enough to attract brands. According to the influencers we interviewed, here are a few questions that a manager can help answer:
- Do you want to work with companies at a fixed fee, or make a deal based on cost-per-install or cost-per-mille? How much do you charge for each type of deal?
- What do you do when you want more money than you’re being offered? How do you negotiate?
- What do you do when brands with products you aren’t familiar with, or interested in, approach you? Do you decline? How do you decline politely? If you accept the deal, how will your subscribers react?
- What can you ask a company in addition to the money that’s on the table? Can you ask for social amplification, or cross-promotion, or even in-game visibility? What is it worth to you?
- How do you schedule your sponsored content into your channel?
- How much time do you need to make sure you hit a deadline?
- Is a product or brand the right fit for your channel and audience?
2. When you are spending less time on content creation than you’re used to
At the end of the day, a manager is someone you lean on for support, especially when dealing with issues that come up between you and your current/potential sponsors.
Influencers are often seen as creative directors, especially when their main priority is to create and deliver quality content that their subscribers will enjoy on a regular basis. In one of our previous posts, we mentioned that influencers, on average, spend between five hours to a week (depending on the type of content) on their creation process alone. If you’re an influencer who spends more than 50% of your time dealing with administrative tasks (i.e. answering emails and comments or figuring out which conferences or meetings to attend), it is sign that you need to hire a manager. This is because viewers will stop tuning in and might move on to another channel when they notice the videos they’ve been watching are not up to par (as time is being spent on admin tasks and not making great content). Shifting your focus away from content creation could ultimately lead to the peril of your YouTube channel.
A manager helps free up your time by (among other things) being the point of contact for brands that approach you — they want you to concentrate on bringing your creative vision to life.
3. When you need help with legal and financial
“Legal contracts and financial management are the two hot topics that are consuming the minds of many influencers” says Jordan “Soma” Tayer, our General Manager for North America, and Twitch broadcaster. Questions are also bound to arise the moment you receive your first sponsorship agreement, especially when it is mandatory to follow the regulations under the FTC endorsement guidelines. Here are some of the questions that the influencers we interviewed had when they received their first contract:
- Should I or should I not contact a lawyer to review this? What type of lawyer do I need?
- Are there any clauses that need to be removed or added? What should I do when there are? What am I allowed and not allowed to disclose?
- What ownership rights do I have?
- Am I liable for any damage I could cause the company?
- What if I want to cancel the contract?
As for financial management, this generally refers to the issue of taxes. Just like any other career, it is mandatory to report your income to the government the moment you start monetizing the videos you make. Knowing who to go to and what to do in this situation can be stressful when you are all alone. This is where a manager can step in and help. A manager should have a business background, and be able to help you figure out the proper legal and financial procedures that you need to follow.
In a nutshell, you should hire a manager the minute you start to feel overwhelmed. This of course varies from influencer to influencer, but don’t wait too long and become stressed out. More importantly, you should choose a manager who thinks like you, understands your work, and wants you to succeed. As one of the managers (who would like to stay anonymous) that we previously interviewed puts it: “we approach relationships as more of a business collaboration than a one-sided deal where we try to take as much and give as little as possible. To us, it’s all about transparency, and making sure we both have something to bring to the table, and then we have a very open conversation from there to see if it’s a good fit for both parties.”
If you have questions, or you’re looking for sponsors for your channels, please don’t hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org!
For more advice on influencer marketing, take a look at these following posts:
- 4 Reasons Why Influencer Marketing Is More Effective Than Celebrity Endorsements
- 8 Common Mistakes Brands Make in Influencer Marketing
- Hear it from the YouTubers: Tips for Sponsors and Aspiring Influencers
- The 3 KPIs for Effective Influencer Marketing
- 5 Tips for Influencers on How to Work with Sponsors
- 5 Things to Know about Influencer Marketing