Influencers make powerful brand partners, but how do they become so influential?
The answer lies behind the scenes with talent manager Amy Neben. At Select Management Group, Amy nurtures a group of “talent” helping them better reach their audience and become powerful voices in the digital space.
In this interview, Amy discusses what makes influencers popular, the importance of social media and the growth of influencers’ power over their audience.
What drew you to the field of talent management?
I’ve always been very entrepreneurial. I have a passion for discovering new ideas and building on them.
There is so much talent in the digital space but most don’t have any idea what they’ve begun to tap into. Helping them discover how to turn their (often) hobby into a real business is an incredibly exciting journey that I get to be a part of as a manager.
What do you hope to accomplish in your new position as talent manager at Select Management?
I have a tailored group of talent who round out passion, drive and audience. It’s refreshing to be empowered to focus my time on a set group of talent where the ongoing goal is to build meaningful businesses with longevity.
What are some of the biggest challenges of talent management?
Education. The digital space is still somewhat nascent, and the biggest part of my job ends up being educating people.
Measuring success is often not straightforward and is entirely different from that of a traditional media campaign. Educating both my clients and third parties is extremely important to making any deal.
What is the number one priority in creating a PR strategy for your client?
Creating a PR strategy for a client in the digital space is unique because every move my clients make is public and accessible to their fans.
The line between personal and professional is extremely thin, as their personal lives are essentially publicized through media and are what make them popular. Some are, in a sense, an unfiltered version of a reality star.
It’s my job to help them understand what needs to be filtered to maintain the image they want to project.
What role does social media play in your job?
Today, social media is everything. Social media allows my clients to maintain a relationship with their fans that traditional celebrities typically haven’t.
Having a direct relationship with fans allows my clients to maintain a personal level of trust, but also build meaningful relationships with brands and other partners that are immensely powerful.
Each platform serves its own purpose, and utilizing each platform in its own unique way is key.
What has been the proudest moment of your career?
I’ve been working with a few of my clients for several years now, from when this was just a hobby. One of my clients is a teenager, and with very little support from her parents, runs her own business, lives on her own and completely supports herself. It’s impressive and eye-opening to see someone take control of her future at such a young age.
How do you envision the future of talent management? What do you think will change most? What will remain the same?
The power is so quickly shifting into the hands of talent and away from the traditional gatekeepers which is only helpful on the management side.
Because talent now own their audience, they’re able to, for example, sell a script to a brand and air it on their channel — all without walking into an audition and reaching more people than most traditional platforms would. I’m now able to open those doors and find success for my clients faster than ever before.
Rapid Fire Round
1. My guiltiest pleasure is…sugar.
2. If I won the lottery, I’d…start a dog rescue.
3. My biggest pet peeve is…slow check-out people at the grocery store.
4. My favorite social media platform is…YouTube.
5. If I was stuck on a desert island, I’d…have to unplug and would take advantage of that.
6. The thing that gets me up in the morning is…definitely my dog.
Image via Amy Neben
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