Why do talent managers charge retainers?

A traditional talent management model would operate on commission only. The new model for many talent managers is to explore retainers in addition to the commission models. I’ll break down why that is and what’s covered within each.

Why are talent managers charging retainers?

The answer is simple, really. The cost of doing business goes far above and beyond the simple management of the partnerships. Talent managers are entitled to compensation to cover additional time spend running this portion of a creators business.

What’s covered in end to end talent management commission model?

  • Contract reviews and management
  • Negotiations and sponsorship rate upkeep
  • Partnership management including communications with current clients and new business prospects including anything inbound
  • Content communication including project kickoffs, relaying edits and communicating approvals
  • Invoicing including management of invoicing system, organizing client invoices
  • Media kit updates including photography and stats
  • Reporting with clients
  • New business including targeted quarterly pitches

So what does a retainer cover?

  • Guarantees I’m able to give your business my dedicated attention even if we’re going through a lull or a dip in brand interest
  • Guarantees a level of compensation to offset scenarios that could happen such as creator deciding last minute not to take a deal, or a brand deciding last minute to go in another direction.
  • Communications with you as the creator including calls, texts, Slacks
  • Advisement and strategy on content concepts, social media advisement on increasing engagement or app best practices
  • Keeping creators up to date on industry news and FTC regulations
  • Consulting on other areas of the business such as providing resources, connecting to other specialists
  • Any communications with other members of your team as required to keep them looped in on sponsored content
  • Management of customer relationship management system and project management
  • Supports all of my third-party costs required to do my job effectively including, but certainly not limited to things like email, calendar management, invoicing, accounting and taxes, legal, etc.
  • Communications and management of partnerships with brands that just want to explore gifting and/or affiliate campaigns

Needless to say, choosing a talent manager that goes with a commission-only model may be what you feel is best for your business, but please know that a talent manager that charges a retainer isn’t doing it to pull extra cash from you. She/he is doing it to put his/her best foot forward to operate as your talent and brand manager and go above and beyond just “getting it done.”

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