In episode 336, Megan chats with Johanna Voss, about the benefits of hiring a talent manager, especially how and why this can land you groundbreaking deals for your business.
We cover information about how you should know if you are ready and needing a talent manager, how a talent manager gets paid, the specific roles a talent manager may take on for you and other questions to make sure you ask and how to find a long term partnership with a manager to make sure they’re helping you build strategic discussions that will benefit your business.
Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.
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Connect with Johanna Voss
Website | Instagram
Bio Johanna B. Voss is a talent manager, trusted by social media influencers who want clarity on how to build their brands, grow their businesses, earn their worth and plan strategically for the future. On behalf of her clients, she’s closed close to $3.5M dollars of brand deals, partnerships and speaking engagements. Her clients have partnered with brands such as Kroger, Walmart, AARP, Little Northern Bakehouse, H&R Block and ALDI. Negotiation is something she thoroughly enjoys be it for her clients, friends or with strangers. Entering her 12th year of working for herself, she understands all about the necessary pivots entrepreneurs take along their journey.
Prior to her work in the talent management space, Johanna worked on the Presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry for more than 7 years. Johanna is a world traveler, lived in Spain three times, can often be found cycling Colorado’s mountain ranges, or asking the question “What if you…?”
- Examine why you want a talent manager. Know the reasons to be successfully partnering with someone.
- A manager helps to expand and grow a portfolio, network.
- Managers can help you manage the communications and organize the incoming opportunities so you can focus on being creative.
- Managers can be your cheerleader, therapist and coach.
- Partnerships are with brands and a manager helps to negotiate
- Talent managers – negotiation, following up, being responsive, eyes and ears for opportunities, hyping the business and giving perspective on how awesome the talent is. Some managers offer pitching others do not.
- To find a talent manager, ask your peers. Check groups online and on social platforms.
Articles By Johanna
Click for full script.
EBT 336 – Johana Voss
johanah Voss: Hi, this is Johana Voss from the Joanna Voss Talent Agency and you are listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast.
Sponsor: Hey, awesome food bloggers. Before we dig into this episode, I have a really quick favor to ask you. Go to your favorite podcast player. Go to Eat Blog Talk, scroll down to the bottom where you see the ratings and review section. Leave Eat Blog Talk a five star rating if you love this podcast and leave a great review. This will only benefit this podcast. It adds value. I so very much appreciate your efforts with this. Thank you so much for doing this. Okay, now onto the episode.
Megan Porta: Food bloggers, what is up? Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast for food bloggers looking for the value and confidence that will move the needle forward in their businesses. This episode is sponsored by RankIQ. I’m your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode number 336. I have Johana Voss with me today. I’m so excited. She’s gonna talk to us about hiring a manager and everything you need to know about that. Johana Voss is a talent manager, trusted by social media influencers who want clarity on how to build their brands, grow their businesses, earn their worth and plan strategically for the future. On behalf of her clients, she’s closed, close to 3.5 million of brand deals, partnerships and speaking engagements. Her clients have partnered with brands such as Kroger, Walmart, AARP, Little Northern BakeHouse, H&R Block and Aldi. Negotiation is something she thoroughly enjoys, be it for her clients, friends, or with strangers. Entering her 12th year of working for herself, she understands all about the necessary pivots entrepreneurs take along their journey. Prior to her work in the talent management space, Johana worked on the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry for more than seven years. Joanna is a world traveler, lived in Spain three times, can often be found cycling Colorado’s mountain ranges or asking the question, what if you fill in the blank. Hello, johana. Thank you so much for joining us today. How are you?
Johana Voss: I am great, Megan, super excited to be here. I appreciate you inviting me onto your show.
Megan Porta: Yes, I’m excited too, to have this chat first, though, we wanna hear what your fun fact is about yourself.
Johana Voss: I backpacked around the world for a year. I had a tiny little backpack and minimal pairs of underwear.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. A year?
Johana Voss: Yeah, one year. It was a four continent ticket. It was 16 legs and when you bought your ticket, you bought the flight route. So you have to plan it out. It was 16 legs and it was Europe, South America, Oceania and Asia, were the four continents and it was a year.
Megan Porta: That is the coolest thing ever. Oh my gosh. I just have to know, do you feel like that has made you a better, more well rounded human? I feel like that would just be such an experience to just teach you so many things.
Johana Voss: Yeah, absolutely. You don’t, it’s that you can only win when you travel. Even if you’re going to like a new city or a new state, be it learning about new things, cultures, languages, right? However new it may be, a new concept, new country, or literally going two towns over. You can never go back to who you were before that trip and before you learned all those things and had that different perspective. So absolutely, travel is something I recommend for everybody, whatever that looks like for you, however, you’re able to make it happen. There’s definitely something to be said. I’ve also lived in Spain three times for a total of two and a half years. So there’s something to be said for being able to survive and figure things out in countries where it’s not your first language, or maybe you don’t even speak the language when you’re there. I could speak Spanish and I was in Spain and traveling through South America was handy to be able to speak Spanish. In a lot of places in Asia, I was in these tiny little towns in Vietnam and no one spoke English and I did not speak Vietnamese. There’s a survivability about it that you just kinda have to figure it out. So I do think, yeah, it makes you a better human.
Megan Porta: There’s something to be said about that. Just getting to the point where you have to figure crap out on your own. We say this about our boys all the time. We have not given our boys cell phones. They’re the only teenagers in the entire universe that don’t have cell phones. But we say this about them because they have to figure out things. If our son is at a chess tournament, he’s gotta figure out how to get a hold of us. I like that. You just have to figure stuff out sometimes in life and traveling does that as well. You gotta figure out the language, how do I communicate with these people and get what I need.
Johana Voss: Yeah. I have a little cousin who is studying abroad in Spain right now this summer. He’s got a cell phone. He’s talking to his parents all the time. Before he went, I’m working with his mom to figure out things, just giving her some ideas about places to stay. I’m using Google and looking at Airbnb options. I’m following his stories on Instagram, getting real time updates and where he is and what he is doing and texting with him as things are happening. I just think back, which makes me feel very old saying this, when I did my trip around the world, it was 2009 and 2010. No smartphones. Barely any internet, it was those heavy travel books that you would just pick up. You’d hope you’d find the country that you were visiting next at the hostel that you were staying at. I was traveling with someone and we had met another couple in the fall of our trip and they were gonna be in Asia in the spring. So we were like, oh let’s meet up in Vietnam and travel together. Honestly it was kinda like. Okay we’ll see you in five months. So loose, no plans. Then closer to the day we were like, oh, we’re staying at this host. Then literally one day they just walked in. We didn’t know when they were showing up. We had no idea, but it’s just there’s such a magic in that of just being unattached versus texting and being like you’re five minutes late, or even I’m tracking you, on finding your friends and I see that you’ve taken a wrong turn. You need to go back. You know what I mean? I’ve had people explain those stories to me and I’m just, I dunno, there’s freedom and fun of just not having, not being encumbered by all that or weighed down by it or being so connected.
Megan Porta: We are too connected. We don’t need to know all of that. This is like a total tangent, but I love it. We don’t need to know. I don’t need to know where my children are every single moment of the day. Anyway that’s another conversation you should come back for that one, johana.
Johana Voss: Happily.
Megan Porta: Yes. So that was clearly a fun fact that led to some good stuff. But you’re here to talk about hiring a manager and why food bloggers should consider this. So if someone is listening and thinking that they need to bring on a manager to their team, what do we need to know about this before we decide to do it?
Johana Voss: Yes. Okay. So here’s the thing that I want everyone to know who is on the verge of hiring a manager, thinking about it, it’s on their vision board. Managers work off of commission. Which means, we only make money when you, the talent, are making money. Most of the time you are not making money because of all of the inbound requests that you get as a talent. My clients probably say no to, I do the math on this at the end of every year. It’s between, I think I have one client who says yes to 12% of the stuff. So anywhere between 12 to 15% to 20%. Which means of a hundred requests, 80 to 85 of them are a no. So you really need to wade through the muck to get to the gems and the one that is a yes. There are no for all sorts of different reasons. Like sometimes they’re just not quality. Sometimes you just can’t agree on a budget. The timing is off. It’s a great project, but you’re under exclusivity. For whatever reason, it’s a no. So going back to what I was saying, we’re only making money off of commission. So if you’re saying no to most of the partnerships that come in, most of my time spent on behalf of my clients is technically not paid for, because I’m saying no to all those partnerships. So I want people to know that we work off of commission and you need to be making a certain amount of money because we earn 20% of that. You just need to do the math on what that looks like. Realistically, if someone is earning $40,000, this is a side part of their business. Now for me, I look at clients that are around a 100K, 125,000 with just brand partnerships over the course of a year. That’s just my number. I know some people are open to lower prices. Some people have a higher threshold. To each their own. If you’re earning 40,000, either getting this going full time or doing it on the side it’s bonus money, whatever, then you have a manager on your team, in theory, they’re asking for more, in theory, they’re able to firm up more partnerships because this is their full-time work for you. Because perhaps you’re so busy, you’re dropping the ball or something starts falling through the cracks. But just do the math. Okay. 20% of 40,000 is $8,000. Now you, as a talent, are taking home 32. Again, hopefully you’re earning more, but what are your other expenses? You really just need to do the math on that. Most people don’t, most people assume that, oh, I’m gonna hire a manager. My manager will build my business. Meaning, my manager, I’m currently not making that much money with brand partnerships and my manager is the one that will go find me all the partnerships. To me, when people say that, they’re like, oh, they’re gonna pitch me and want you to build my business. It’s a major red flag because brands hire talent based on the talent’s portfolio. The talents photography, the talents content, the talent’s storytelling. Not me, I’m selling the product. The talent is the product. So the brands come in for the talents portfolio of work and that’s on them to build. That’s not my job. I’m not here to build your brand. Once your brand is built, I’m here to help you expand and grow it by taking on this negotiation of partnerships, but I don’t build it for you. Does that make sense?
Megan Porta: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So when you’re talking about partnerships, you are talking about doing work with brands. So whether that’s covering the scope, like creating photographs, you could be creating videos, blog posts, all of the above, social media assets.
Johana Voss: Yes. Yep. All of that. Yep.
Megan Porta: Then as a manager, do you have connections with brands already or are you establishing new contacts with sponsors or all of the above?
Johana Voss: All of the above. So I have been doing this for a few years now. I currently have eight women that I represent. So through them, I have hundreds, I would say thousands, but so many people are moving jobs these days. The reality is my Rolodex has shrunk because people are leaving this industry or moving agencies. But I have hundreds of contacts of people that I have worked with on behalf of my past clients. So someone new to my world, I’m able to reach out, when it makes sense to be like, oh, you’re interested in working with this company. Hold on, another client worked with them six months ago, let me reach out. Or I can reach out to this agency. Cause they know the agency works with that brand. I have a relationship with them. But simultaneously, my most recent two clients, Jessica and Gabby are in the travel space. They have come to me within the past year and a half. There were some, and there are some lifestyle brands, but there’s a whole new world of travel agencies and networks that was new to me. So yes, to both your questions, it’s both of the above.
Megan Porta: Okay. Got it. Then at what point does going this route make sense for a content creator? I’m assuming probably not just right out of the gate. Do we need to be established? How established and all of that?
Johana Voss: Yes. So first of all, I would look like a talent. Why do you want this person? Like, why do you want a talent manager? Are you wanting the talent manager because you want them, as I was saying before, to grow your business, you wanna become an influencer? So you’re like, oh, I’m gonna hire a talent manager and they’re gonna bring me all the work? Which is not gonna be successful for anybody. Because like I was saying, we work off commission. If you have 1200 followers, which is great, there’s not a lot of opportunity there for paid partnerships in the way that if you had 80,000. So examine why you’re interested in having a talent manager. If you are wanting a talent manager because you know that you are dropping the ball because you’re so busy with work, your inbox is bustling with paid partnership opportunities, high quality, real projects, Gifted collaborations from seemingly sketchy companies. I don’t mean like your inbox is full of those because those will never go away no matter how successful you get. But if you have a lot of paid partnerships and opportunities in your inbox and you are dropping the ball because you are in the middle of other projects, you’re creating content, you’re doing travel or trips as part of the industry and vertical that you’re in as a talent, the content creator and you’re missing stuff. Or you’re not following up in time or by the time you get around to it, they’re like, oh, sorry, the opportunity closed. We didn’t hear from you. We moved on. If that’s your scenario and you are making money again, for me, it’s six figures and up, that is a time to reach out to a talent manager because you can outsource all of that. So that ideally in the best world, you as a talent person are just focused on your strength and what you do well, which is creating the content, being creative, storyboarding stuff, doing the photography, doing the videography, writing the post, editing, like creating the videos, all that sort of stuff. It allows you just to be in your zone of genius. Then your talent manager, what their whole role and what they’re really good at, hopefully for your sake, is the negotiation. Then building relationships, staying in touch, following up, being responsive, and then just being another set of eyes and ears for you on your business. So if you’re more in that latter scenario, that is a great time to bring a talent manager on, to help you expand and grow your business because you only do so much as one human.
Megan Porta: Yes. So you’re talking about incoming requests. Now what if there’s a content creator who just has all of these ideas and brands and pitching ideas then, but they just can’t get to it. So you’re talking about incoming and pitching or just if your inbox is full and you just can’t manage it all.
Johana Voss: Yeah. Bringing out a talent manager when your inbox is full and you just can’t manage it all. But then to your point about pitching, there are some talent managers that pitch. That is part of what they offer and that’s part of what they do. I am not one of those people. I strictly manage all the inbound requests. Now, if a client’s oh, Hey, I’ve got this thing coming up, like a kitchen remodel. Can you reach out to our contacts at Lowe’s at Home Depot and see what may be on the horizon, absolutely. I do more of planting seeds than what I think people think of when they think of pitching. But there are talent managers who absolutely do that outbound pitching flow. Just when you are looking for your talent managers, be clear on what you want and what your expectations are and then what they do. Like I said, I don’t do that. That is not my jam. Also gravely, like my clients are full with work, so I just don’t even have the bandwidth for it.
Megan Porta: I can think of one that I know who does that. So yeah, I think just being upfront about what your expectations are and what your needs are as a content creator just before you dive in. So that’s a good question to ask.
Johana Voss: A hundred percent. I think too, like what I’ve experienced, the people who do pitch, I could totally get this wrong, but I think this what I remember from chatting with some, I have a kind of like an awesome crew of other talent managers that I’m pretty close with and we like support and we’ll share contacts and Hey, this person’s looking for a manager, but I’m not a good fit. The people in there that do pitch, I think they do it more in the fashion and beauty space. It just seems to be a quicker turnaround. Whereas, I don’t have any clients in that space. My clients are in, I have three clients in lifestyle, three in food, and then two in travel. It isn’t as often as a quick turn. It’s more okay, as we’re recording this it’s June, they’re planning back to school content, Hispanic heritage month content. It’s just a longer slower burn and sales cycle. But it seems like the people who do pitch are much more fashion and beauty and they have great success with it and it works. So again, just be clear on what you want and what the person that you’re interviewing will do for you.
Megan Porta: What typically does the manager offer? So maybe pitching, maybe not. What else exactly do you do for your clients?
Johana Voss: Yes. Okay. So this is what I do at my agency. Not everyone does all these things. Some people do more. I think a lot of people maybe do less. So I do everything from the moment an inquiry comes in, be it to my inbox on behalf of a client or directly to my client and they will forward it to me. I’m responsive within one business day of reaching out, getting all the information about the project. So from that point of connection, when a brand has sent some inquiry all the way through to then getting all the information, budget, scope of work, timing, connecting with client to make it a yes or a no. When it’s a yes, then getting the agreement, getting the brief, working through the agreement, redlining it, editing it, getting it signed, getting the brief, getting concepts, getting all that sort of stuff approved. Then it is off to the talent to then go create the content. Then I will continue project managing it when the talent is done. I will get it back to the brand. I’m the one who’s going back and forth a lot of times being a buffer between the brand and my clients, if they’re being needy about time or edits or things that are just like out of the scope of the agreement or they’re just being annoying. I will be the one that is the buffer to stop that. Project goes live, sends out the metric reporting, and gets the invoice out. Then unfortunately, the part I hate the most is when invoices are late, tracking invoices down. So that’s kind of soup to nuts what I do. I also, for my clients, I’m like their therapist, they’re cheerleaders, their hype woman. Let’s go get drinks and just chat and gossip. Let’s catch up, planning trips, planning travel for my clients that are in the travel space. It’s a lot more logistics of just travel and it’s a lot more focus on their calendar and just juggling all those balls of wait, you can’t do this because you’re actually gonna be in a different part of the state or different part of the country or the flights don’t work for you to arrive in time. So it’s a lot of those logistics. What else do I do for my clients? Yeah, I think it’s like that and then therapy.
Megan Porta: I love the therapy part.
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Megan Porta: Do you ever get to be good friends with your clients? Just a curious question.
Johana Voss: I am the bestest friends with my clients. I am obsessed with them. We are all obsessed with each other. Yeah. It’s dreamy. I thank my lucky stars every single day. I did not set out to create a talent agency. I joked that, like it created itself. I’ve been an entrepreneur since January of 2011. So this is, I don’t know, whatever the math is, 10th, 11th, 12th year. I’ve had a couple other chapters of this journey. Moved into doing talent management and I’m like, oh, this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. This is where I’ve been headed the entire time. I love what I do. I’m so happy. All my clients, I’m grateful that I’ve never thought of them out. They’ve all come to me, looking for business partners and management. We are all obsessed with each other to the point now, like when I am interviewing people, someone who reaches out, like my last two clients, the ones in the travel space that I was referencing. When we were going through the interview process, they had reached out looking for management. I’m spending a lot of conversations, getting to know one another, one of the questions that I ask that I’m very upfront about, because I now realize this is important, if I’m like, listen, I don’t need more friends. My life is so full. I am a blessed and lucky lady, but I’m like, the reality is we will become very close friends and we will talk all the time. We will text all the time. I’m gonna know your business and your life. Not because I’m all up in it and super nosy, but just that’s the way all the others have unfolded. We just really like each other. We planned trips together. All of them are coming out here to Denver in September for an agency retreat. They’re also excited to see me. I’m excited to see them. They’re all also excited to see each other. We just refer to ourselves as an agency family, and it’s such a beautiful thing. So I will say now I’m like, listen, I’m not telling you that I’m gonna be your best friend, but I’m just telling you, I’m gonna be very present in your life. We’re gonna talk a lot. I’m gonna know what’s going on. It’s been great. I know that a lot of people don’t have that. Not everyone would be up for that. Not what I intended to do, but I adore my clients. It’s Yvette’s birthday today. The day that we’re recording this and I’m going to her birthday. She happens to be the one client who lives near me. She lives just south of Denver. So I’m going to her birthday party. I know her whole family. I know most of the families of my clients and their lives. I love it. I’m obsessed with them.
Megan Porta: I just sensed that. I did not know that about you, but your answer was something that I could have predicted. So I love that. I love that so much.
Johana Voss: They’re great.
Megan Porta: That’s amazing. Then I wanted to ask you about acting as a buffer. I know that probably is a relief for talent and content creators. How is that for you? Do you like being the buffer? Do you mind? Is it uncomfortable?
Johana Voss: The reality is most of my clients have no idea how much I am a buffer. Every once in a while I’ll be like, Ugh, this one client. Yeah. But in general, like I’m not a complainer and I’m not here to like B I T C H about things. Or be like, oh my God. Be like, I can’t believe that agency keeps doing this thing. That does not serve the purpose of my relationship. It’s a professional business relationship; that doesn’t help anybody. Honestly, it’s just like a waste of time and energy. So yeah. My clients have no idea how much I’m a buffer. Do I like doing it? No. It’s honestly just annoying, but I really don’t think much about it. I don’t have emotion invested in it. It’s annoying, some of the stuff I have to deal with mostly, cuz I’m like, it’s just indicative that maybe they’re not so good at their job. Where I’m like, oh, now you’re just making extra work for me. Or you’re having to make me deal with you more. Oh, can we have this, whatever content on this day. I’m like, It’s not due until they say can we have it sooner? I’m like, no. Just follow the agreement. So yeah, it’s not just annoying, but I don’t put emotion into it. I should just deal with it and then move on because it’s not worth it.
Megan Porta: I suppose after a while you get used to removing the emotion. So it comes naturally for you. Whereas for me, I don’t work with a ton of brands. So getting to that point for me is really uncomfortable. Whoa, I am not used to this. But you’re in the groove of it. You have to do that.
Johana Voss: When you say work with brands, you mean for yourself, right?
Megan Porta: Yes.
Johana Voss: Yeah. I don’t think that’ll ever go away just based on, because your business is so personal. What you do is so personal. Some people it’s literally their name, it’s their face. It’s their blood, sweat, and tears. So I don’t think you’ll ever be able to remove the emotion from it in a way that I can with negotiation. One of the great things that having a talent manager is, if I’m like, okay, this project is $10,000 and they’re like, we only have 7,000. I’m like, okay, we’ll take 7,000. Where someone else might be like, oh my God. They said no to $10,000. They think I’m not worth 10,000 and oh, it’s no. Don’t spiral. They didn’t say that. They just said their budget was 7,000. But I think people interpret it because it is so personal.
Megan Porta: Yes. That’s a great point.
Johana Voss: I don’t think you’ll be able to lose that.
Megan Porta: But I love that point because you, you’re not in their business, so you can talk differently about their business than they can. There’s such a difference there. I think that for me is the one thing that would cause me to hire a manager. If I were into doing more sponsored work, is that. Because it’s so hard to talk about your own business without getting caught up in it, like the numbers, especially. I find that other people can talk about my business in a different way than I can. I can show up and be like, yeah, I’m awesome because I take great photos. But I don’t know. It just seems weird to do that. Your perspective is different. You have an outside perspective. You can talk differently about someone else’s brand. Does that make sense?
Johana Voss: Oh, a hundred percent. That’s why, when I was saying before, when you asked me what I do in my role, and I was like, oh, I’m a therapist and hype woman and cheerleader. It is a lot of that. When I’m on the phone, let’s say it’s a brand, me and the talent, we’re having a call. The brand is talking to talent about telling me more about what you do. I also feel like my talent’s mom, and be like, and she’s really good at this. She also does this and doesn’t overlook this. I know it’s awkward for my talent. Because it’s awkward to toot your own horn and you’re listening to it. You’re like thank you. They’re not gonna do it.
Megan Porta: Yeah and it helps.
Johana Voss: It’s not human nature.
Megan Porta: I’m sure it helps. Yeah.
Johana Voss: But I also can be like, they’re amazing at storytelling and taking the product and integrating in an organic, authentic way that really just allows a story to shine, but doesn’t seem like an ad and really integrated. My clients afterwards will be like, oh yeah, I can do that. Yeah, you do that all the time. You do it really well. They’re like, I didn’t think about that. Thanks.
Megan Porta: Things in them that they might not see, or if they do see it, they maybe see a fraction of it and they certainly wouldn’t tell other people about it.
Johana Voss: Yep. I can also, because I’m constantly talking to brands, I have conversations all day, every day of the week, be it email or phone or Zoom with brands. So I can also hear what they’re saying from a 30,000 sort of detached view. Brands are really talking about this. So I’ll just use their own language back to them. But about my client in ways that my client just wouldn’t have that perspective or insight. So I can make ’em sound really good. They are good. Don’t get me wrong. But I’m here to sell the product and the product of my talent. So that’s my one job, is to close the deal.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love this. Okay. So where do we find a manager? If we want to grab one.
Johana Voss: Great question. So a couple different ways. Ask around. Ask your friends. But then also ask your peers. Maybe people that you are in similar Facebook groups or content creator groups or different the black foodies communities have a really amazing strong group of food content creators that support each other and are constantly just hyping each other up. Even if you don’t know someone personally, ask for recommendations, ask for introductions. People that you follow online that you see are successful and are doing this as a business and perhaps you’ve watched them grow and you’ve been keeping your eye on them and you’ve seen them do a lot more partnerships, slide into their DMS and ask if they have a manager. If they do, would they make an intro or at a start, just get a name or an agency name and start Googling. You can also go on Instagram. A lot of people find me because my bio says, I think influencer talent agent or talent agent or something like that. So a lot of people will just find me cuz you can search on Instagram for things. So my name will be one of the firsts that pops up because if someone puts in an influencer manager or talent manager, whatever it is. I would definitely say, just do your research of looking around, reaching out to other clients on that person’s roster. I meet people that I’m talking to. I ask them, as homework. I’m like, go, please talk to other clients of mine. I will make intros. I’m like, I will give, phone and email. I’m saying talk to two or three other clients of mine to get a real time perspective on what it’s like and what they like and what they don’t like. Things that they want you to know that maybe you wouldn’t have thought of asking me. Really do your homework. But those two places are a great place to start. Once you find one agency, I’ll say small boutique agency versus a larger one, Instagram starts showing you other similar ones. I know I follow a lot of other small boutique agencies. If you find someone on Instagram, go through who they follow or who follows them. Just go down that rabbit hole.
Megan Porta: Yeah. You get a feeling, it’s probably the same situation as when you connect with a fellow food blogger. You just get a feeling about the way that they’re presenting themselves and their energy and all of that. So it’s probably the same.
Johana Voss: Yes. Oh, a hundred percent. I know, right away when someone reaches out to me on Instagram or email looking for a manager, I can tell you right away, I’m like, oh, it’s gonna be a yes or a no.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love that. I have that intuition too. So inside my mastermind group, there’s just a select few number of food bloggers in there. I’ve had this feeling with a handful of them. Actually, most of them are just right away. I’m either yes, it’s going to happen. They’re just meant to be in here. Or definitely no. I don’t know. It’s so weird.
Johana Voss: No, I totally get it. I think about that when bringing on new talent. I mean at the end of the day, I’m the one who says yes or no, but I do check in with my clients if someone reaches out to me and I see that person follows two other clients or is commenting a bunch on another client’s thing. I’ll message a client and be like, Do you know this person? They reached out to me, and they’ll be like, oh, I worked with ’em on the project. They’re awesome. They would be amazing. Or sometimes they’ll be like, they’re awesome and they’re crushing it. But they’re a total diva. They were late on set, they were late to every photo shoot or they were late to breakfast every morning. Just stuff like that. They’ll always gimme the scoop and they know, they can tell it to me and I’ll do with that information, what I want. If I brought that person on, they would never be rude about it. But I do think about that now. Having eight women, I’m like, you have to get along with everyone. If we’re talking all the time and you call me and you text me and I see it come through on the phone, I have to be excited that you’re calling me, not being sick to my stomach about that I have to talk to this person now. I am an entrepreneur. I get to choose who I work with and when I work and how I work. That is part of it. I know a lot of people. Very particular about it.
Megan Porta: There has to be that good vibe. Just as you have to lean into your intuition a little bit too, to find that. But what have we missed? Is there anything else we’ve missed about hiring a manager?
Johana Voss: I’m like, Ugh. So many things, but no, not about hiring a manager. We talked about pitching. We talked about the commission. Yeah. Kinda to what we were just saying. I would just really reinforce this as a person that is going to be a long term partner for you. So you really wanna be certain about bringing them on your team. I actually had this really weird experience a couple weeks ago where a talent management agency reached out to me, johana and wrote this whole email. We see your content on TikTok. By the way, I’ve done like three videos. I think I have four views total. I was like, that’s a weird red flag. But I often get, because my clients have my email in their Instagram profiles and stuff, like a lot of times people reach out to me and they’ll be like, hi Jessica, but it’s to me. So I’m like, so I assumed I’m like, oh, this must be for another client of mine that they, but wait you’re actually, it says who their management is, me. So why are you emailing their manager? The whole pitch was to be someone’s talent manager. Once I figured this out, I was like, oh my God, this is so fascinating. So I just played along and it turns out they were actually wanting to be my manager. Johana’s manager. Which I like, this is so weird. So I wrote back, I had a bunch of questions. She’s oh yeah, again, reinforced loves my content. Which always I’m like, oh, what piece of content? Because it’s such a line. It’s always a lie. So I’m always like oh, what article? Or what piece of content did you like? Whatever they wrote back from email. They’re like, okay, here’s an agreement. So if you wanna work with us, just sign it and get it back to us and then we can move forward. She sent me this like one and a half pager already signed.
Megan Porta: Whoa.
Johana Voss: I thought there was so much that is unclear about this. But simultaneously guaranteed people, influencers, content creators are signing that because they’re like, oh, this is so exciting. Someone reached out to me. I’m gonna have a manager. But no communication or expectations. The vibe, literally it was the shortest email exchange I’ve ever had. So I share this example to be like, that is a red flag of exactly what not to do. Because you want to be so clear with your person. Are they gonna pitch for you? Are they not gonna pitch for you? What’s their commission structure? What hours do they work? What sort of aspects of the deal from when it comes in and then you sign the agreement, are they checked out and then you’re dealing with the brand and they’re not being a buffer? Or are they? There’s so many ways that us talent managers choose to run our businesses. So just know that you really want this person to be someone that you’re excited about. They’re excited about you.Because it is a marathon. So much of this is building relationships and cashing in on chips that I’ve earned to now talk about new talent. I don’t wanna talk about that person and they change their mind and go somewhere else in three months. I’m like, no, you have to understand this takes a long time. So really do your homework and take the time to find the right person who’s the right fit for you.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I am sure that a lot of us listening can relate to that. Getting those emails, that sounds good. But then you’re like, wait a second. So many red flags pop up. But then you get excited and you’re like maybe, but yeah, just to pay attention to those red flags, don’t dismiss them.
Johana Voss: Not at all, as you were saying before, trust your intuition.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh, this was so great. I loved our conversation. Thank you so much, Johana, for everything you’ve shared today. This was so fun.
Johana Voss: My pleasure. I honestly love talking about this sort of stuff, because I feel like the voice of the talent manager in this conversation around influencers and talent management and content creation is the quietest voice, because it’s just dominated by influencers and then from brands and agencies, which is fine. But us talent managers definitely have a seat at the table and play a large, really impactful role in this whole process and in this industry. So I always welcome the opportunity to share my insight and wisdom and just hopefully have given some good little nuggets to help people who are on the verge of hiring and just making a better decision or, know what to look for down the road when they are hiring. So thanks for all these great questions.
Megan Porta: Yeah, you have definitely added value to this space. So we appreciate you. Do you have either your favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with today?
Johana Voss: Oh, I sure do. I sure do.
Megan Porta: Awesome.
Johana Voss: So my quote is an African proverb, which is, “while you pray, move your feet.” it essentially is, you can sit there and be like, I want a manager. I want a manager or whatever the case may be. I want more brand partnerships. I want more brand partnerships. You can, the proverbial sit at your desk and be like, oh gosh, and oops, lemme just check my inbox and see what happens. See if anyone emailed me. Or you can, while you’re sitting there, theoretically praying and meditating and manifesting it, you can also go through the motion. Outreach. Create content, practice your flow, hire your photographer. Okay. Who else do you need on your team? What’s your style? What’s the vibe of your content on social media? How are you presenting on your website? Reach out to people. Hey, I’m looking for opportunities. Be vocal and tell people I’m looking for brand partnerships, in the space. I’d appreciate any introductions. Go find the brands that you wanna work with and find them on social media. Slide into their DMS. Ask who’s the person in charge of influencer marketing? Not even like a hard pitch on selling yourself, but just start very at the beginning of I’d love to meet the person in charge of your influencer partnerships. Get that name, find them on LinkedIn. And you can do the thing on LinkedIn and then down the right side, it’ll say people have also looked at these other profiles and as like similar types of profiles. You can find more people in the influencer content creation space. Hey, such and such a person. My name is Johana and here’s about my blog and here’s the audience I serve. I saw that you do, influencer partnerships. I’d love to learn more about the clients that you have. Do you have 10 minutes to talk on the phone? I’d love to learn how you work with them. Just start going through those motions because the universe will rise to meet you. But only if you are doing your part of actually like getting off your butt and putting yourself out there and being proactive.
Megan Porta: Take action. Right? That’s it in a nutshell. You’ve gotta act. Can’t just sit and wish.
Johana Voss: Nope.
Megan Porta: I love it. This has been super awesome, johana. We’re gonna put together some show notes for you, and if anyone wants to go look at those, you can go to eatblogtalk.com/johanavoss. I will say that your name has a hidden little H in there. So it’s J O H a N a V O S S. Tell everyone where they can find you online, if they wanna connect with you and see if they’re a good fit for getting a manager through you and your agency and social media, give us all the scoop.
Johana Voss: So I am basically hanging on Instagram all the time. That’s my jam. That’s where I love to be. It’s my first and last name, Johana, as Megan said, that’s that sneaky little silent h. J O H a N a VoSS like the water. Then my website is just my first and last name. There’s a lot of articles in there. Resources for building your business, negotiating for yourself, what to look for. If you need more information. Couldn’t find your notes on this call or this interview that you took, there’s some more articles and resources and hearing from other talent managers and stuff over on my website. So those are the two places to find me and yeah, happy to stay connected.
Megan Porta: Awesome. Thanks again, Johana. Thank you so much for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. Please share this episode with a friend who would benefit from tuning in. I will see you next time.
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