Thursday, 11 January 2018

New Years Eve at the Ceridwen Centre with Sweetcornbread

I was dreading NYE this time round. The last few years had been underwhelming, my bank account was empty after Christmas and to be brutally honest, our plan to spend the weekend halfway up a mountain in Wales did not fill me with excitement. How stupid I was!

The idea was for Sweetcornbread to play a five hour set at the Ceridwen Centre's Alternative New Year's party, which was being held on their farm in Carmarthenshire. They had played there before as the band have friends that live and work at the venue. For once, I didn't have the usual pre-gig strops from my bassist boyfriend, this should have been my first clear indicator that it was going to be a little special.

The five hour drive was killer, I'm not going to lie. Most of it was in the dark and being squashed up in the back with the instruments and our supplies for the weekend didn't do much for comfort. At one point we stopped at a Welsh service station and I feel like I could be forgiven for thinking we had landed on Mars - who knew Mcdonalds chips could get any thinner? Why do they have a completely different version of the cheese bites? We arrived at the Pen-Y-Blanc farm in the pitch darkness - all I knew was there was a lot of steep hills to traverse and we were going to be staying in The Old Dairy.

We were welcomed warmly and shown to our space. I've shared with the whole band and their girlfriends before and it was tight and noisy with a very intimate feel to the toilet so I was expecting the worst. I needn't have worried! The Old Dairy had lots of room for us, the farm owners bought double mattresses and there was water, snacks, tea and coffee on tap as well as under floor heating and some beautifully equipped, far-away-from-the-living-area washing and toilet facilities. I wish I had taken a picture of the ENORMOUS stack of giant floor cushions in the room because they were literally the cosiest thing ever!

I started to notice other little things. The signs in the toilet, the biodegradable toiletries, the recycling bag - the farm operates on an extremely green basis and they have a green septic tank - I fell a little in love. I had a brief chat with the owners son-in-law and he said  the farm has solar panels and various recycling and green facilities and continue to work to improve their sustainability.

We spent the first evening in a local pub, the John Y Gwas. I have to say our hosts were a dream and the pub itself was exactly as you may expect from a village that seemed to cling on to the side of a mountain. The toilets were something out of Stephen King's It and the locks were on the outside of the doors - only in Wales! We made plans to visit the beach the following day and retired to our cosy Dairy.

I took quite a few photos at Poppit but my favourite part of the beach trip was the 20 minute drive through tight, winding Welsh villages. At the time we went my phone was out of action but I must make a note to try harder to get candid snaps of things I want to blog about - a goal for 2018!

Back at the farm and we got ourselves ready for the night, with the band resting and some of them downing double Lemsips to counteract the bastard flu everyone seems to have now we are back (I've avoided it so far, but I tend to be the last to the party anyway) At the Dairy, wafts of the most fragrant lamb tagine were starting to drift over from the kitchens and I set upon a large bottle of gin - it's a blur from then onwards...

Dodgy panorama of the band trying to sort out their set list, mostly I've included this because Jim's head looks hilarious.

One of these individuals was determined not to have a nice picture with the band *eyeroll*

The party went down beautifully and the band were a smash - despite a slightly awkward countdown for midnight itself which started way too early! The band played a set of covers and original tracks and got the tipi rocking!

We loved the photobooth - I got pretty attached to this red wig at one point.

 I've popped some photos of some of the farm and accomodations below but their website is definitely worth a look  if you are looking for a green (or just beautiful) venue for your wedding - click here. They have all the facilities you could possibly want for your big day - including a stunningly private mountainside wooden hot tub, fired by logs and with incredible views over the valley. I really wanted to give it a go but we didn't start the fire off early enough and we had to leave - I would have been more than happy to spend another few days soaking in the cooked breakfasts, fresh air and genuine warmth of Simone and Roger and everyone at Ceridwen. Thank you so much for showing me that New Years Eve doesn't have to be rubbish when you step out of your comfort zone.

 The hot tub of dreams

Gypsy caravan under winter storage - I believe this is used for the bridal suite for weddings - so romantic.

My favourite - a lovingly restored bus with all mod cons, position overlooking the beautiful valley.

Thank you all at the Ceridwen Centre for an amazing weekend!

Katy x

Monday, 25 September 2017

Picmonkey Free Has Gone

I have advocated Picmonkey for years. I love the fun, fresh interface, the fonts, the overlays and most of all how  kept developing and growing it until it became almost invaluable to a huge number of people who haven't had the time, money or inclination to develop skills in other major design programs.

Over the years, I've written a bunch of articles about the free features on Picmonkey - some of those posts have been shared on the Picmonkey site and one of them is my highest-viewed blog post of all time. It still get's hits, despite being an old and completely redundant way of making your avatar a circle for social media - I still get questions on the post!

Despite all my tutorials featuring only the free elements of the program, I've paid for membership on several occasions, once for a significant number of months. I was also gifted a year long membership at one point as a thank you for the tutorials that I was writing. I strongly believe in supporting independent businesses in the technology industry and I completely understand that not everything can be free.

Last week I saw the title of the announcement email and my heart sank. I knew straight away that it was likely that something was going to changing at Picmonkey and I crossed my fingers it would be something positive. I couldn't believe it when I read that as of that moment, there would be no free access at all, other than a 7 day free trial which required credit card details. This obviously cuts the majority of students and young people who have relied on Picmonkey when their parents won't splash out on design software for adding fonts, overlays and filters to their online content.

The most irritating thing about the change is that because a long, long, long time ago, I've had a free trial which then turned into a subscription to access the Royale features (which are amazing, in particular the addition of the Hub) I am now not entitled to a free trial of the incredible new features that Picmonkey has obviously spent time and money in developing that now needs recouping. I ended up using someone else's card, with permission obviously, as I had just taken on a small freelance project that required a basic graphic. I was overwhelmed with all the new Royale features, especially the Hub, which offers a way of saving the layers in your images. This is going to make it really easy for me to whip up images for my blog, which are all just a background with two white rectangles at different degrees of Fade. The text effects are pretty good too - I'm grateful to finally have drop shadow.

Picmonkey said they wanted feedback and that they were listening but they didn't respond to my several tweets asking them to reset the system so you could have another trial if you had already had one in 2013 or something - so I've done what bloggers do best and vent these issues here - but I'm anxious to make it clear I absolutely think it's worth the money and I will be continuing to subscribe. I love the interface without the ads and the addition of new overlays that can be used in millions of different ways is fab too.

I hope they listen to feedback and provide some way of showing off their brilliant features without needing a credit card.

Katy x

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Copyright And Using Music In Your Content

Instagram deactivated my account! What’s a copyright warning? What music can I use on my Instagram videos?

These have been the burning issues in my inbox this week and I’ve been doing a LOT of research, so I wanted to share in one place everything I’ve learnt about the situation.

I work with a range of influencers in my day job – many of them, especially in our ‘beauty’ category, utilise music in videos that they create for collaborations and organically-generated content.

I'm not a legal expert, so my advice here is focused on the specifics of avoiding issues with Instagram and YouTube when it comes to using music that you don't have specific permission to use - I've included links below for various sources of more information regarding the legalities, what is classed as 'Fair Use' and what else you can do to keep your account safe.

Here is everything we know so far, and if you are just here to find out where you can obtain Royalty-Free and Copyright Free music for your own videos and content, scroll down to the bottom for the links.

Facebook now owns Instagram and this has meant a number of changes to both platforms. The ridiculous and useless integration of Instagram Stories into Facebook’s mobile app is one of them (seriously, do you have ANY friends that use it? I don’t.)

One of the more behind the scenes changes has been that Facebook as implemented a cross-platform music-tracking algorithm with a pretty high level of sensitivity. What this means for the average user is that even if you have music on in the background of your videos you could still be issued with a copyright warning and even account deactivation. We aren’t currently sure how far this extends and there’s no evidence that it applies to Instagram Stories, but I’d strongly recommend erring on the side of caution and not using music that you don’t have the rights to anywhere on either platform, especially if Instagram is a source of income for you as you could potentially be accused of using music without a license for commercial use 

I've spoken directly to several employees of Instagram and I have quite a bit of information about what is and isn't okay.
  • Don't use music you have purchased from iTunes on your Instagram videos or YouTube content. The permissions granted to you in downloading music in this way do not cover use as background to your digital content.
  • Do find royalty-free music through a third-party website - you'll probably have to pay a fee and make sure to read the terms and conditions properly - it might be okay for you to use a track for personal videos, but not okay for commercial use, which usually carries a higher licence fee that for personal use. Commercial use covers creating content for brands, by the way.
  • Don't think you'll be okay if you credit the artist - attribution is not a way out of respecting an artists copyright.
  • Do connect with upcoming artists that might grant you permission to use their music in exchange for a credit on your posts and definitely get their permission in writing and take a screenshot of the message, you can use this if an issue does arise to prove you have permission to use the track.
  • Don't try and get round the rules by 'putting music on in the background and pretending not to realise that counted - Instagram won't care and their software is clever enough to put up even small snippets of music
  • Do make sure you check the email address associated with your Instagram account, that's where any warnings about copyright violation will go to.
  • Don't make the mistake of thinking that old content won't be spotted - you need to remove any content you have up that has music that you don't have specific permission to use for your account to be completely safe.
  • Do tag any artist that gives you permission to use their product and write "Music by @soandso, used with permission from the artist"
  • Do check out this list (click here) of permissions granted by artists for their music to be used in YouTube videos

(This section refers only to Instagram as I haven't got experience in regaining accounts on other platforms)

If one video gets taken down, get permission to use a piece of music and put it back up. If you suddenly find yourself with an inbox of copyright violations, don't panic. If your account is still active (or even if it's not, see below), it's salvageable.  Go through and archive all of your content that has music playing. This might seem like a pain but it's nothing compared with regaining those 8, 12, 20 or 100K followers back will be.

Steer completely clear of using music for a few days and then make sure you read through the resources below to start building a library of music that you have permission to use.

If your account has been deactivated - there are still things you can do to regain control. Firstly, try and make a note of what you think might be causing the issue (Do you have old videos with Rihanna songs way back on your feed? Can you hear an Ed Sheeran track in the background of your prank video?)

Head here:

Fill in the form. My advice is stay concise, explain what you think is causing the issue and apologise. Make it clear you understand why your account was removed and will do everything to rectify the situation and it won't happen again. Steer clear of emotional pleas because they get thousands of requests a day. The team at Instagram's Intellectual Property department will review your case within a few days and hopefully will give you another chance - if they do reactivate your account, be aware that it will still have a flag on it that indicates to the platform that you have been caught violating copyright. You won't get your account back if you do it again.

If none of this works and you aren't getting anywhere with the form - I do have several email address for the IP department at Instagram and would be happy to pass one over - you can email me by clicking here and I'll tell you my most current contact information.

I'm going to add to this post regularly when I find further links, resources and information on this subject, so I'll try to keep the below up to date. Please do feel free to add a link to your favourite resource, royalty-free music, artists looking to connect with content creators etc in the comments and I'll be happy to add them here.

Here is a list of places that you might consider obtaining music that you have the correct permissions to use

I hope this has helped, I'm happy to answer any questions to the best of my knowledge and please do leave a comment if this post as been beneficial to you.

Katy xx

Friday, 15 September 2017

What is an Echo Chamber and Am I In One?

An Echo Chamber, when referring to the online community describes how you will hear your own views validated, amplified and reinforced. It leads to a dangerous thought process – “everyone feels the same as me” – to put it bluntly, they don’t.

Think about the people you follow and interact with online. If you are in a metaphorical Echo Chamber, most of the individuals that you interact and engage with on a regular basis fall into the follow categories. People you admire. People who inspire you. People who have similar jobs, social economic backgrounds and lives as you. People who have similar views. These people probably feel the same as you about the big issues of the day. Feminism, Terrorism, Racism, Equality, Global Warming. All big issues and most people have a strong enough view that they will openly admit they come down on one side of the fence. I haven’t met anyone who is ‘on the fence’ about global warming. I have met people who think it doesn’t exist and people who dedicate their lives to protecting the environment. These issues encourage strong views.

The problem is, the current climate on the internet is building to one of an almost fanatical intolerance towards any sort of debate or disagreement. I was recently blocked from a popular feminist’s Twitter feed because I stated (and I still believe, rightly) that it was ridiculous to try and ban the word ‘Feminine’ in relation to feminine hygiene products. Personally, I’d rather spend the time campaigning for girls who have to skip school because of their period in this county (this happens – google it) than trying to get yet another part of our standard lexicon banned – I don’t agree that seeing the word should ‘trigger’ anyone and I personally think that if it does, they should grow a fucking backbone – don’t worry, I know this is a #unpopularopinion but I’m still entitled to it. I’m #sorrynotsorry if that triggers you.

Deleting and blocking people who have different views to you isn’t going to help you accept and be tolerate of the world around you. It paints a false picture, that everyone feels the same way and you are on some sort of crusade together against the trolls that disagree.

If all of your friends are super-liberal, middle class white people around the same age, how are you ever going to be able to understand and interact with anyone not in that socio-economic group? If you are blazing through your life thinking that you are right and that’s it, because the group you surround yourself with completely agrees with you and anyone who doesn’t is triggering some sort of anxiety in you so deep that you feel the need to erase their terrible opinion completely from your mind and vision, you need to branch out. Not everyone is the same and not everyone will always agree with you and that is a beautiful thing that the most intelligent, successful and happy people in the world are able to understand.

Beware the Echo Chamber. It can convince you that everyone is in the same boat, that everyone thinks the same. It can encourage normalisation of behaviours that are not accepted in wider society. If every single person you know smokes Cannabis and talks about smoking Cannabis and treats it very normally, does this mean society as a whole is accepting legalisation? Nope, it just means you have surrounded yourself with people whose moral compass points the same way on this factor. Try going to a Woman’s Institute tea party and having a discussion about using CDB oil to treat rheumatoid arthritis. You won’t get very far.

This isn’t a dig to anyone who does delete people who disagree with them. You might want you online space to be all fairies and rainbows and happiness and butt-licking, but it’s vital to be aware that in doing so, you are creating a false and fragile community that doesn’t offer a real reflection of the world, in the wider scheme of things, you are doing something even more dangerous to your own mind – convincing yourself of a false reality and closing yourself off the a diverse and beautiful world of opinion, debate and disagreements.

I want your opinion on this post – negative, positive, on the fence, you don’t like my hair, whatever. All opinions are valid here – I don’t want to be in an Echo Chamber. 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Affiliate Marketing Doesn't Pay You For All Of Your Work

What do bloggers and influencers get paid? Since I started working in this industry, I get asked this question several times a day. What should I be charging to feature brands on my blog? How much should I be getting from my affiliate links? The blogging industry has no pricing or fee standardisation, people tend to keep their earnings close to their chests and there has been more than several occasions I can think of where an Influencer has implied they got paid for something that they didn’t. There’s also a bunch of examples of influencers pretending they didn’t get paid, but that’s a completely different post.

As head of the Influencer department at a major agency, I have had to pick my way through this minefield with very little information to go on. How much should we be charging? How much is everyone else charging? Should we do affiliate schemes or just upfront payments? I feel very strongly that Affiliate marketing, while having it’s place when it comes to paying bloggers a percentage for organic links in their blog, shouldn’t form a major part of your Instagram collaboration strategy.

Affiliate marketing is a way of crediting you financially for sales that your influence has generated. This could be a percentage, or a flat rate per sale, download or sign-up. You know the ones – “We’ll pay you 10% of the sales that you generate” or, “You’ll get 40% of the profits from the link in your bio” Bear in mind that 40% of profits isn’t usually a huge amount, the fee you should get is from the total sale and not the brands profit, unless they are willing to disclose their profit margin, which I doubt they will be.  Profit margins tend to be around 25% if the business is running well. This means 40% of the profits if you contributed to £100 worth of sales would be £10, 10% of the full amount. Make sure you know these stats before you agree to anything.

Follower Acquisition: Any brand that a true influencer features, reviews or mentions gains followers to their own account. This is incredibly valuable, because whenever the brand posts an image, offer or product, they are pitching to more people, if you have chosen an Influencer with a similar demographic to your target audience, this is even more valuable, as they were obviously interested in your product. This could generate an immediate sale, or they might spot something months down the line on your feed and make an impulse purchase then. This sale won’t be attributed to the Influencer you worked with.

Brand Awareness: You need to see something in a positive light three times before you are driven to make a purchase, if you are susceptible to marketing tricks or just an impulse purchaser in general. You might see your favourite blogger promoting a new face mask. You are vaguely interested and it looks good, their caption seems positive. You give it post a like. You then see the mask in a magazine the next day. The following day, a second Influencer is offering a discount code of the mask through a site such as Beauty Bay. It’s payday, so you make a purchase. This purchase hasn’t been attributed to the beauty blogger although they piqued your initial interest, they never benefit from that influence.

Direct Sales: Here’s the big one, sadly still the thing most brands measure the success of their Instagram collaborations against – I’m still certain that Follower Acquisitions is the more profitable benefit in the longer term, but the industry doesn’t agree with me. Even if you have been the sole driver of an impulse purchase, someone has seen your picture of some new heels from an upcoming online shoe brand and rushed straight to the site to make a purchase, quite a number of these people are very likely to google the best discount code they can find and will often not use your link – especially since Instagram still isn’t allowing clickable links in their captions.

In short, I don’t know. I believe that Affiliate marketing works in one place only – in posts on your blog that feature products from online retailers. In these cases, people may love how you look in that amazing pair of sunglasses that you featured organically, without being contacted by the brand or sent the item for free, in a blog post and want to buy some – there is no harm in providing a link to the sunglasses, and if that link pays you a percentage, there’s no harm done, no extra energy on your part. You aren’t working for the brand, you are working for yourself and that deserves rewarding.

However, if a brand contacts you via email or DM and says something like “Hi, we LOVE your work, you are seriously amazing! We’d love to send you some of our new make-up range, in exchange for 2 x Instagram posts and 1x Instagram Story – we’ll also give you a link to put in your bio, which we will pay you 10% of the profits on!! Let me know your address and which pieces you would like from our site and I’ll send over a contract!” – this isn’t acceptable. You get paid for less than a third of the work you have done and the brand gets away again with not paying influencers properly. The only fair way to work with an influencer is to pay an upfront fee. This fee covers not only the use of the influencers platform to promote a product, but also the time, energy and dedication that has gone into building and developing their following to the point where a brand want to collaborate with them as they think they will be able to drive sales – the definition of a genuine Influencer (in the commerce sense of the word anyway)

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Beauty Boulevard & Burt's Bee's Festival Survival Kit

I will never get over the misery of having to pack up and leave a festival and evacuating Curious Yellow was actually too much to bear for a week or so - I've drunk a lot of wine, let's put it that way.

I'm hoping to do a full 'review' of the magical weekend The Turner Brothers and groupies had at the Gibberd Gardens in the next few weeks when I have collected photos and I don't get a pang of sadness when I realise it's another 339 days to wait until the next one. In the meantime, the thought of going to Boomtown and then Magic At Landed the week after is getting me through the misery.

Enough complaining! I'm here to share details of the fun festival survival kit I received in the post this week - I was gifted these items but not paid for my review.

So, confession. This isn't my first festival survival kit, previous kits had a focus on heat protection, allergy protection and safety. This kit has a focus on the real important stuff, glitter.

Pictured is a selection from the kit but the full content were:

Glitter Lips by Beauty Boulevard in Vintage Pretty and Breathless
iZ Nail Lacquer in Glastonberry and Dancing In The Rain
Burts Bees Facewipes and Ultra Conditioning Balm
Colorsmash Hairspray in Indigo
Beauty Boulevard Premium Glitter in Space Cadet and Pegasus
Glitz iT in Wild Violet

What more could I possibly need for a festival? I mean, other than a tent, a sleeping bag, a large bottle of gin...

When I saw the above glitter I thought, I probably won't use that weird orange one, but in fact it turned out to one of my favourite glitters ever, huge chunky hex pieces and a duochrome bright yellow orange sparkly. It was SO hard to capture in photographs but here is a shot of it on my and my friend Kelly along with some errant Turner Brothers...

I created a half face glitter look on the second day using the Wild Violet glitter, which is a mix of chunky hexagons and holographic teeny bits, the glitter from the Breathless Glitter Lips kit and the chunky glitter from the Pegasus pack of Stardust...

The glitters all come with a special gel or a glue, which is also infused with glitter, and a brush suitable for application on your face, lips, body or hair, I can't wait to take my growing glitter collection to Boomtown and hopefully wear some much more make-up heavy and fun looks. These pics are from Once Upon A Time In The West, which I had about five minutes to pack for and thought was going to be tiny and wet, so I didn't take the majority of my festival supplies with me - regrettable as it was actually a wonderful little event and the Turner Brothers performance was one of the best I have seen all year, love those guys!!

Have a great end to your week, and do give the links above a little click to check out the huge range of glitter, sprays and over awesome festival must-haves from these brands!

Friday, 21 July 2017

How Do I Get A Blogging / Influencer Agent and Do I Need One?

In my day job, I'm an Influencer agent at a major talent agency. I manage the calendars and collaborations of people with significant Instagram, blog or Facebook followings and I work on pitching them to clients to fulfil briefs that require influencers.

In a typical day, I might receive requests for:
  • Beauty Influencers with a high UK audience
  • Fitness Influencers that are currently not sponsored by protein brands
  • Mummy influencers with children under 5
  • Gaming Youtubers who want to trial new game apps
  • Travel Influencers who want to go on paid adventures
My job is first and foremost to fulfil the briefs that come in and to make sure that our department is reaching out to companies to let them know that we are here and we have the influencers that they need to fulfil their digital content needs. I spend a lot of my day talking about the three major benefits of Influencer marketing, raising Brand Awareness, gaining Follow Acquisitions for client's social accounts and generating immediate direct sales driven from an influencer posting content created around a particular brand.

Obviously, to do all of this, I have to have a roster of Influencers, bloggers and content creators that I can call on. These individuals need to span the complete spectrum, from very small, up and coming beauty bloggers who might consider creating a post in exchange for gifted product and a mention on a big beauty brands instagram page, to major Youtube stars that can gain millions of views and downloads for a new app.

I find these influencers in lots of different ways, including going to blogger events, networking with other agents and beauty PR's, scouring Instagram and...incoming applications.

The point to this post today, was to give some information about what an agent does and why you might need one. I speak to a lot of up and coming influencers and bloggers who feel that getting an agent is the next logical step to take them to the upper echelons of the blogosphere. To put it bluntly, it's not.

My job is not to develop you, not to grow you into a major influencer. That's your job. The content that you create, the organic content, is what will make you stand out among a see of want-to-be influencers and social media stars. I get approached by people with 10K followers in Instagram saying they are ready for an agent - you aren't. The brutal truth of the matter is that an agent is only going to be interested if there is decent money to be made and at that level - there isn't.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still interested in hearing from you. I often get invites, emails about gifting (or 'seeding' collaborations and other opportunities that our higher-level beauty influencers simply won't consider and it makes the agency looks significantly better if we are always able to fulfil a brief, plus I'm obviously interested in watching your Instagram and blog grow in popularity until such a time that you do perhaps require an agent.

So how do you know if you really need an agent? Here's a little checklist.
  • You are getting approached by brands and being offered paid collaborations
  • You don't know how much to charge these brands, but you know that your platforms are definitely worth money
  • You need help with invoicing and the admin side of Influencer work
  • You want to turn previous collaborations that have been on a gifting basis into a longer term paid collaboration with a brand
  • You are getting people pretend to be you on social media
  • You think it's time you were verified
  • You have more than 100K followers or subscribers on at least one channel.
If more than two of these sound like you, it's time. Get contacting agencies in the space you want too work.

Influencer platforms are springing up everywhere. I get several emails a day about them. From Influenster  to River and millions more, these platform promise that they affiliated with all the top brands and will bring the work to your inbox without you having to lift a finger and in some cases, they do work. I would recommend them if you aren't quite answering 'yes' to two or three of the above questions but you are ready to dip your two into paid collaboration.

An agency manages your Influencer career. You'll be assigned an agent who will be your go-to. You'll speak to them several times a day sometimes about opportunities, working with them to get the best rates and the best collaborations. They will reach out on your behalf to brands that you have always dreamed of working with and they will make sure all of the invoicing and admin stuff is done for you so you can sit back and do what you are good at - content creating.

Don't get me wrong, there's a place for Influencer marketing platforms and I don't see them as my competitor, but they fulfil different roles and it's likely you'll need one before the other.

Now you have established that you are ready for an agent and you aren't looking for someone to help you develop yourself as an influencer, but someone who can pitch you to global brands and start getting you those big-money deals - it's time to put yourself out there. I'd strongly suggest going for a well-known, reputable agency that has a good roster of influencers. Here are some other things to check out:

  • Does the agency have an office premises? You don't want some fly-by-night managing the career that you've worked this hard on
  • What's their reputation? Talk to some brands about the agency - you probably have PR contacts already and most of them will know the big agencies and the right contacts there - they might even recommend a particular agent to you
  • Do they have people that you admire on their roster? If they only have one or two minor reality TV stars from 2006 they might not be best for your 400K beauty platform
  • Do the people that they represent seem to be working quite a bit? A reputable agency will always be happy to share who else they represent - check out their Instagram feeds and blogs and establish if they seem to be getting good opportunities. 5 teeth whitening companies in a month would be a no, an amazing-looking trip to the Bahamas with a cosmetic brand would probably be more of a yes!
  • Are you able to speak to someone on the phone and if so, do you like them on first impressions? I won't take anyone on that won't speak to me on the phone.
  • Do you they ask you to share your Instagram insights and other stats and seem interested in verifying how you have grown yourself, or do they seem over keen and not interested in your history? This is a red flag for sure, you don't want to work with an agency that takes on people who they don't properly verifying - brands will pick up on that super quick!
Finally, do your research. The right agency won't pressure you into signing a contract or true and promise you all the best jobs. Working with an agent is about selecting and pitching for the right opportunities that will resonate with your audience and keep your following trusting you. No agent should ever promise anything - they probably won't be able to deliver and you'll be in too deep to know what to do. 

I'm happy to give advice on this subject, and even consider adding you to our roster if you have the potential and I believe that our clients will be interested in you. You can find my work email over on my Instagram, @katyclouds

Hope this has helped! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section and I will reply with haste x

Similiar Posts...