How To Take A Month Off

Today we’re speaking with Lindsay Nead of Parker Management. Lindsay Nead is the founder and CEO of Parker Management, an influencer talent management company based in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Lindsay has pioneered a way through the talent management industry with integrity and compassion. On a mission to represent social media personalities that do good in the world, Parker Management has an impressive talent roster of top influencers who have a passion to create for their devoted audiences. In addition to serving clients, Parker Management works with the world’s leading brands and agencies, helping them find a voice through authentic and beneficial partnerships.



[00:00:00] Jessy: Hi everyone and welcome to the Wiim Podcast. Women in Influencer Marketing is a first of its kind exclusive networking group made up of inspirational women. This podcast is where we explore influencer marketing and get real about women in business. Find us wherever you download podcasts, and of course, you can always find us at iamwiim.com, that’s iamwiim, double I.com.

Hi everyone. It’s really good to be back. I took a week off last week. It was a wild week. I tried really hard to get an episode out and I am genuinely apologetic that I couldn’t do it. We had this influencer marketing job fair that I was working so fucking hard on. And it ended up being incredibly successful. I am so like astounded.

We had like over a hundred people there. Our events tend to be like lovely and intimate and for this one, it obviously would’ve benefited us to have the biggest audience, and we did. I am so freaking happy about that, and I think that’s definitely an indicator that like we need to do more of that.

The whole mission of it was to humanize a job board. I was so transparent with everybody in the marketing of it. I was just like, our job board sucks. Like I see so much possibility there. Obviously, like dozens of people, Wiim members have been hired, have hired directly from the group. But honestly, like very few of them have been like just from the job board, because I think the whole concept of a job board is just antiquated.

And so I was like, what can we do to improve that? And so we decided to do our second job fair, like virtual job fair. The first one was audio only and we had a really good turnout to that one. That was like very early on in the pandemic. And this one was on our new virtual event platform that we’ve been utilizing.

 I don’t know, it was so good. I hate giving excuses because I really wish I had my shit together enough to be able to do everything. But I just couldn’t. It was a lot to manage that event, but thank goodness it was successful. And I’m back this week and what a guest we have today.

So today we’re welcoming Lindsay Nead of Parker Management, and this was also our first like behind the scenes exclusive member access podcast recording. So for any of you who are members of Wiim, so many of you actually tuned into this one, which is so cool to see. It was the first time that members could tune in live to the recording, and at the end we had a live Q&A.

So after this awesome conversation that you heard, you can ask questions in real time and then of course connect with her. And it was cool. It was very cool. And so we’re absolutely gonna be continuing this. The podcast has been around for three years, it’s not going anywhere. So in my mind I was like, what can I do different? What can I add? How can I make it even better?

And I’m always trying to think of like additional things that our members can enjoy and access, in my opinion is so hugely important. Thank you guys. For those of you who tuned in live it was really awesome to have you. We will be continuing to put these on our calendar, and so whatever guests that you find that resonate with you, and even some of those, you’re like, I don’t know if they do, but speaking in there might be interesting.

I promise you we’re very selective about who we have on the podcast and I hope you have an open minds enough to explore, meeting new people. And then of course just having questions. Whatever the hell you wanna ask at the end. It’s open book. These are all people who are like I’m happy to be candid, I’m happy to be an open book, ask me questions. And they know that this is the format. So it’s a great great. Proposition, and I hope you take me up on it.

And then, yes, speaking of cool stuff that has to do with access, we just posted on our Instagram Reels a little bit about a scholarship that we have going on. So look, I’m very aware that our membership is priced so that some people can absolutely afford it.

But mostly because they see the value that comes from it and the value pays for the membership. Other people go a different route and they have employers who are gracious enough to cover the cost of their membership to Wiim. And in my mind, like I have no doubt that, again, like I mentioned, the value and the benefits of a Wiim membership, pay for it and then some.

So I don’t feel any kind of way about the pricing. In fact, to be completely transparent, we’re gonna be up upping the price in the next few weeks. So keep an eye out for that or get in before it goes up. 

However, with all of that being said, I’m also simultaneously aware that there are simply people who cannot afford it, and simply people who maybe they are out of work or they’re self-employed and they’re current employer, just does not see the value or chooses not to invest in them, which is also like sad in its own right.

So because of all of that, and I’m just very aware that not everybody can drop a few hundred dollars a year on Wiim or $29 a month even. We have a scholarship that we just set up and so I am so excited to bring this to you guys.

So we have a ton of partners that are offering scholarships to people throughout the year for a free year of VIP membership. And so the first of this is being sponsored by an incredible company called 3BLACKDOT. 

In fact one of the members of 3BLACKDOT is a mentor of our organization, Arina Shamus. And 3BLACKDOT sponsoring one lucky person to win a free VIP membership for an entire year. All you have to do to apply is go to iamwiim.com/scholarship. I am so excited to be able to offer this one, and my hope is that, we’ll keep pitching this idea, which is sponsor scholarships sponsor scholarships. And more companies will take me up on it.

If you are a company that thinks that you would love to give back to the next generation of influencer marketers, please get in touch. You can email us at info@iamwiim.com and let us know if you would like to sponsor a scholarship, because I have really been pushing this and I’m so happy to see that people are really receptive to it. I just wanna see more and more people pull the trigger because I want us all as a community to give back. It’s what Wiim is all about. 

All right, guys. So thank you again for tuning in today. If you are new, and I am so excited for you to hear this week’s episode. It’s all about talent management. It’s all about, starting a business, running a business, what it really is like to be the owner of a business and working with influencers in a management capacity.

Lindsay is awesome. I feel like it’s so long overdue that we’ve gotten to know each other on this level that we talk about in this podcast episode. And I just, I have a sneaking su suspicion that you’re gonna leave with, all the good feels because it was an awesome conversation.

Before we jump into the podcast recording, I just wanted to first and foremost welcome everyone because this is the first time that we are having our members join live. So hi everyone. 

[00:08:33] Lindsay: Hi. I’m just I’m so happy to be here. And honestly, Jessy, I just think what you’ve done is incredible and I think I’m just so grateful for you in the industry and what you’ve created, so thank you.

[00:08:47] Jessy: I’m grateful for you. Seriously. I tell people all the time who are like very generous. You just weren’t like, oh, thank gosh you created this community. I’m like, we would literally be nothing if it wasn’t for our amazing members. And like people being engaged in the community and just giving into it as much as they’re taking out of it because there’s so much to glean from it, but like everybody leaning into it as much as they are, it’s what makes it amazing.

So I’m grateful for you. And I think a great place to start is that I’d love to just introduce you to everyone who is listening right now. By way of introduction, so Lindsay Nead, she’s the founder and CEO of Parker Management, which is an influencer talent management company based in the Pacific Northwest. We are just talking about where she’s located. 

If you look out the window behind her, you’ll see the beautiful backdrop there. So pretty. And so over the years she’s pioneered away through the talent management industry with integrity, compassion, and she’s on a mission to represent social media personalities that do good in the world.

Parker Management has a really impressive talent roster that I was looking through last night and I was like, oh my gosh, she represents this person, that person. So we’re definitely gonna get into that a little bit. Top influencers who have a passion to create for their devoted audiences. 

So in addition to serving their clients, Parker Management works with the world’s leading brands and agencies and helping them find a voice through authentic and beneficial partnerships. And so Lindsay, first and foremost, welcome. I’m so happy to have you here. How are you today?

[00:10:28] Lindsay: I’m good. I just got back from a sabbatical, so I am like, really good . A month ago I would’ve been like, it was, it’s been an overwhelming year in a good way. Just the industry changing and everything. But I feel if you can ever find time to just take a month off, I highly recommend it.

[00:10:50] Jessy: It’s so interesting that you’re talking about that. Before we jumped on this conversation, we were talking about how you just had your second baby. Just so exciting. I don’t remember, where I heard this, but maybe some other podcast somebody was talking about, why can’t you take off a month?

Oh, I know exactly when it was. I was talking to another Wiim member who was taking off a month for her wedding, and she was like, oh my gosh. When I first started my business, I never thought I could take a month off. That would be insane. I would judge myself so harshly. Tell me a little bit about what that month off did for you or what that time off did for you.

[00:11:33] Lindsay: So, we’ve grown a lot and as a leader in my team would laugh at this, but I got to the point because everything has grown so quickly, I got to a point where I felt like, I was just spinning in circles with decisions for the company and I was getting tired of myself. My overwhelm was obvious and I also couldn’t make really good decisions and, I just felt like I wasn’t showing up as a leader the way I wanted to be.

And when you just hit that point where you’re just like constantly overwhelmed and you’re like, something has to change. And I actually have a business life coach Jackie, who is amazing. And my husband and Jackie were like, why don’t you just take a month off you can do that. And of course I said that same thing. I was like, there’s no way, like I can’t take a month off.

And then I thought about it, I’m like, of course I actually can. And my team would be so supportive. We have a new COO. And anyway, long story short, I think that day I told them, I think I need to take a month off. And I really did not work. I think I popped in a couple times and I honestly feel that I thought I was gonna do a bunch of planning and I did nothing. I hung out with my family. 

We went to California for two weeks and literally just unplugging, stepping out of the grind was the best thing I could do. And I came in just with energy and clarity and I felt like I was just myself again. 

[00:13:07] Jessy: It’s so interesting. That’s what I wanted to hear from you. What did you feel after? So like energy and clarity and ooh, okay. I have so many questions that I like pre-plan that I wanted to ask you. This a good topic. I feel like as women especially and as professionals, there are so many preconceptions about what we can do and what we can’t do and what’s possible and what’s impossible.

 I heard you say taking a month off was something that you never, ever thought that you couldn’t do, especially owning your own business or people who work for other people, they’d be like, they would never approve that. Taking a month off. I must appear as if I’m a slacker. I don’t care about my work.

If I did any of those things, but so tell me more about even the process of deciding that you can give yourself permission to take a month off. What was that like and how did you ultimately give yourself permission to go there and to do that? 

[00:14:22] Lindsay: Like when I was talking to Jackie and my husband, we were just having a conversation and they mentioned it. Like in that moment, this is just how I lead business is, my intuition, my gut. That guides me in so many things. And I was just like, that’s actually exactly what I need. And at that point, I just knew it was like a non-negotiable for me cause I knew it was what I needed and when they said it, it just clarified that’s what I needed.

And my team, even , my RCO she was like, you’re not gonna talk yourself out of this and they all thought I would just probably, not do it. No one actually thought I would really do it because I have a hard time stepping away.

But in that moment, again, I’m a leader of a team and I had to, in order to be a good leader and show people this, it actually is now part of our employee. We’re going to add it in for all of our employees, by the way.

It will be something that we give everybody that is with us for a long time because of that. And I think, like I said, I didn’t have too many expectations about it. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on taking time off. I literally wanted to just take time off and if I wanted to organize the house or spend time with my daughter or like vision things or whatever it was, I allowed myself to do any of that.

And I think ,not having that objective with the time off was really helpful. And and honestly, I would. Highly recommend it. It doesn’t need to be a month, but whether it’s two weeks, like two weeks or more, I would highly recommend, I feel like two weeks isn’t enough.

[00:16:03] Jessy: I love this so much. I feel like it’s not even like giving ourselves permission necessarily, but it’s even going a step above and beyond that and saying like you’re saying it helped you tremendously and you recommend it. It’s like going a step in above and beyond and not just saying it’s okay. It’s okay to do it. Go try it. Give yourself permission. 

It’s like no, you should do this and here’s why. There’s so many ideas about maternity leave, paternity leave. Just taking mental health breaks, just remaining healthy and how to even, prepare ourselves to be our best selves, personally, professionally, especially professionally, and I am I’m on a mission man to just break down those stereotypes.

But like I was mentioning, even go a step above and beyond to say no. Like it’s not even that you need to give yours, that you can give yourself permission. It’s okay to do this. You can admit it, but it’s like you should do this. 

Are there any other concepts like that, that you’ve experienced firsthand where you’re like, maybe, I wouldn’t admit this to everybody, but this worked for me in my life and maybe it’s a little unconventional or whatever the case is, but y’all should really give this a shot. Is there anything that comes to mind?

[00:17:29] Lindsay: Honestly, that would be the biggest. I think everything we do is a little unconventional, honestly, at Parker. And we work from home. Like we, create an environment that is conducive to really letting everybody be in control of their workflow and what feels good to them.

I will say our industry is the reason I think this is so important to figure this out, whether it’s a break or just signing off, reasonable hours and actually truly signing off. Like our industry doesn’t stop. And now that everything is more digital or remote it’s even harder. 

 I think there’s a ton of little hacks and things we do as a company and we’re on, like that’s our mission is to create a healthier balance. I know people hate that word, but it’s like, what other word do you call it. You have to have some sort of balance between personal and professional life.

And, the influencers we manage, that’s like our conversations we have with them all the time. We actually talked certain talent that we’ve actually had a few that like fully signed off Instagram, they are not on Instagram anymore. They shut their business down and we were like 1000% supportive of that. So yeah, it’s a lot, it’s just an interesting time I think in our space all around 

[00:18:55] Jessy: that’s for sure. That’s for sure. I appreciate you saying that about your influencers even too. That’s certainly been a topic of conversation that in amongst like the influencer community which is, their mental health.

 Like the amount of energy that’s necessary to be constantly posting on social media to be constantly engaging in some hateful comments sometimes. Let’s be honest and like backlash and cancel culture and like they are like in so many instances, that’s comes with the territory.

It’s part of being an influencer and there’s a lot of just of mental health boundaries that could be incredibly important and it’s a shame to me that again, it’s not only normalized cause it’s not putting up those boundaries.

But ,it’s almost shamed if oh you’re an influencer. That’s what you sign up for. Like how dare you sign off? What are you not professional? This is your Instagram account, this is your business. So I love that you’re even as a manager, who is somebody who makes money when your clients make money. It sounds like you are perfectly okay if your clients need to take a break for the sake of what, I can put words in your mouth and make assumptions for it, but what do you see as the benefit of cultivating an environment that, that does that?

[00:20:28] Lindsay: I think it starts with us, starts somewhere. Someone’s got to set that tone. And I think right now influencers they feel punished by the platforms if they sign off. And then brand partnerships don’t come. 

And there’s so many things I think that they feel like they’re gonna lose if they sign off. And so I think for us, it just comes down to explaining the upsides to this. And that loss is okay, like to step away and lose couple partnerships for a month just like you would any other business. You can plan for that, plan it out. 

One of our influencers that she’s like promoting this who wants to take a month off with me this summer? And, you can plan it out and treat it like a business, but I just think that it needs to feel okay, more people need to do it and talk about it.

And I wish more than anything that the platforms it didn’t feel punishing for them to not be relevant for a week or to, a lot of influencers will say my content’s not gonna get shown, or things like that.

And so I really wish in our whole industry that the platforms would also contribute to helping people want to take that time off. 

[00:21:41] Jessy: That’s hopefully what this conversation is doing. Cause I agree with you. It’s just more people need to talk about it and normalize it and even say here are the benefits to doing it.

So I love that you stand for that. I wanna hear just like a little bit more about like you and I read your bio on paper and we see your beautiful website. It is beautiful. By the way, I appreciate a beautiful website. I wanna hear more just about both your identity as a professional but also a little bit about who you are during off hours. I wanna get to know you a little bit better, Lindsay.

[00:22:12] Lindsay: I love that. It’s so funny cause it’s I always say I’m a first a mom and wife and that’s always, who I am. At the beginning. And then professionally, yeah, I started Parker, I thought it was six years, but it’s been only five years. It feels like such a blur.

But now I’m officially like CEO founder of Parker. My role has evolved. I’m actually no longer managing talent. I am a little bit, but we’ve slowly transitioned me out of that so that I can be the visionary person I feel like I am.

And outside of work, honestly, you will find me working on my house. You’ll see we represent a lot of home people in the home and lifestyle space, and I could talk about home projects and home decor and food and all that all day long. 

[00:23:02] Jessy: Talk to me a little bit more about the talent that you represent. I saw like you guys represent The Bucket List Family. Like I was like, what? That’s so cool. I love that you represent people in the home space.

I think it’s interesting, some management companies, whether it’s like very intentionally go after a certain pool of talent or just naturally gravitate towards certain talent. I’d love to hear if you could like, articulate in a few sentences or less like what your talent’s all about. I wanna learn about them too. 

[00:23:35] Lindsay: The best thing I can say is if you go to someone’s page and you just walk away feeling good and you’re not there comparing yourself or feeling like less than when you go to a different page from theirs. And that is like the core model of our business is like every person we work with, whether it’s they have a story element that is doing good or they give back to their community all the time, or they’re there to make someone laugh.

All of them have, we call a do good element to their business. It’s just like a small element to your business that is using this platform in a positive way. And so you’ll find that ,anyone you go to from our roster, you’ll go to their site and you’ll find that element in some shape or form. So that is literally the nucleus of our brand. 

[00:24:34] Jessy: I love that so much. I was managing talent. I’m actually not personally managing talent much anymore. There are a lot of managers in Wiim. A ton, arguably, like the most engaged members of our community are all managers and most of them, myself included, we start out managing talent ourself. Perhaps we have the ambition or desire to grow into more of an agency and hire more people and build the roster, et cetera, et cetera. And then I think there becomes this pivotal moment where it’s okay, like what’s the end endgame for me in all of this?

 Like we start to grow up, we start to age. Maybe we have kids, maybe we got married, maybe we are just thinking about our next phase in life. And that’s a big question that I think a lot of talent managers grapple with. 

And honestly, there are very few examples of managers who are at that next step because there’s so few of us and it’s such, it’s so new. So it’s interesting to hear that like you’ve transitioned away from managing talent now it sounds like you’re really like managing and running the business. Talk to me about that process, that thought process, and maybe even what your long game is professionally.

[00:25:51] Lindsay: Yeah, I think it’s really tough because I never thought I always thought I’d manage talent. The idea of not managing talent was extremely bizarre to me. And you’ll see a lot of owners of companies and high ups in the companies still manage talent.

And there is a piece of me that felt like I would always be relevant though by managing talent and then is there’s a lot of truth to that. You are relevant, you know what’s going on, you’re still in the game a little bit. But as we structured our business, the more we thought about it was like my time is best spent by, I forget what it’s called, but I’m a manifesting generator. I’m like a visionary. I have lots of ideas.

I love to just jump in and support our team. I love to be on strategy calls with managers and that is ultimately I think where my time is best spent. And in order for us to have that like healthy structure in the business, I felt like I had to not manage talent.

 Even our leadership team even had to talk me out of managing people because I it was it is so hard, especially lucrative talent. No matter how amazing your team is, you worry about passing them off to someone else. And luckily I found that when I moved talent, I managed forever to someone else. I actually felt, that fresh set of eyes was even more powerful for that person. And I didn’t want to be all over the place in my role. I just felt like it wasn’t a good structure for our team. 

So long game, I will tell you like I approach our team that everyone’s gonna retire at Parker. And that soon they’re gonna kick me out. Not in any time. I’m still in it and I’m fired up about being in the business, but long term it’s like I want everyone moving up. And eventually, five, seven years from now, I wanna be like looking in on everyone else doing their thing. That’s just like our vision for the company. 

[00:28:07] Jessy: That’s lovely. That’s so lovely. Like it’s from the top, like really wanting to encourage everyone to continue to grow, to continue to succeed. And just, it sounds like you’d be so proud of them and like looking on just like lovingly as they are elevated. I love that so much.

I wanna hear from you. What’s that people would assume about you, that’s not true? Talk to me a little bit about that.

[00:28:33] Lindsay: Oh my gosh. I was thinking of what’s not true. That’s a tough one because I was gonna say, I feel like a lot of people assume when you’re a business owner, you’re one way and I’m actually like really approachable. I feel like I’m not your normal business owner or leader. 

I feel, and I hope that I’m very approachable, but I don’t know what’s not. Someone would assume that’s not true. That’s a tough one. But I definitely feel like people are just intimidated sometimes to talk to the owner of a business or I don’t know. I’m not really sure, but I am like the least, I hope I’m the least intimidating person. 

I talk about like our business, like we all own the business. I’m never like, it’s mine and me. It’s literally like all of us together. 

[00:29:22] Jessy: What a great vibe to you, and I think it’s really refreshing. I think like most women also have such good gut instincts, right? That we should tap into so much more.

And my gut instinct about you is you’re so down to earth. Even in our correspondence about this conversation before, you’re like, oh, I’m like, all right. What do you wanna talk about? What should I ask? What topics do you wanna dive into? And you’re just like I’ll talk about anything. And I was like, yes. Like you are my girl. That is my favorite type of conversation of person, whether we’re like recording the conversation or just having it.

I want to hear so in that spirit, it’s easy to talk about all the wonderful things that happen in your business and not to discount them and they’re worth celebrating, but let’s also be real we struggle. Everybody struggles, especially business owners and, people in the influencer marketing industry could be manic at times. And there are just struggles to go through. What are some of your biggest struggles, either when you are a manager or even now as a business owner?

[00:30:25] Lindsay: Oh man, there’s so many struggles and like you said, it really well. It’s both. There’s a lot of wins and a lot of downsides to this business. I would say for us the work-life balance, I mean for any manager and that would actually be anyone on our team. 

It’s just no one has any boundaries at all in this industry. And you are working at six in the morning. We’re on Pacific time, but we’re working with East coasters on like at six in the morning and then at night, people are working at night.

We have a rule. We try our best to schedule, send an email to anyone on our team if it’s after. 5:00 PM I literally will work at night too. But my thing is if I’m pinging someone at eight or 9:00 PM like what is that showing them? And then they feel like they have to respond and we’re perpetuating this problem. So I think what’s so hard in our industry in general is just being a manager, managing talent, or even on the brand side is having that, those boundaries that just don’t exist here.

The other thing that comes to mind is when you’re managing talent or working with influencers in general, actually two things come to mind. One is that your job is to be as professional as possible to a brand and put your best foot forward. Represent talent in the best way, and you need it to be a, team effort.

So making sure that your talent are also doing the same. And sometimes as a manager you have to compensate for like you’re not getting a hold of your talent or things like that. We don’t have a lot of that, but it does come up and it makes our job really hard cause we’re just trying to keep things moving along same way the brand is.

The other thing I would say that’s really tough is like how hard, this industry can be for people. And like you said earlier, I think it’s funny because it’s, yeah, an audience might say you have nothing to complain about or you asked for this and you’re putting yourself out there.

But at the same time, just the behind the scenes can be really, difficult to go through with your talent, whether it’s the bad comments or it’s just the comparison. You could have 5 million followers or a hundred thousand, it doesn’t matter. 

I have to tell talent this all the time, like you’re all having the same problems. Like you think someone else has it better with a bigger platform and they’re actually looking at someone else and everyone’s really hard on themselves. So that comparison is just really toxic. I could go on, but those are the main things that stick out.

[00:33:04] Jessy: Yes, we can all go on. I appreciate those though. Those definitely stick out to me. I see those all the time. And it’s like a collective effort to shift a lot of those things, especially the ones that we feel the most, right? Because it’s a trickle down effect, right?

Talking about work life balance, you can easily say in a slack that you send at midnight, no need to respond to me now. But to your point, you’re like, what type of example am I setting? Especially as a business owner, maybe you’re sending it to an employee. They’re like, if she’s gonna look at me in a positive light or respect me or promote me, like perhaps she’s inferring that I should also be working at midnight when the reality could potentially be like, maybe you just enjoy the focus time that comes with working at midnight because people aren’t ping you or that’s just your work style.

 Perhaps it’s also just like checking in with people and just like really improving that communication. But big picture, the trickle down effect is so hugely important. I think just like having these open dialogues about, what we’re doing and why we’re doing what we’re doing, and also what’s best for everybody. And having that self-reflection is so important.

I wanna ask you a little bit more about your clients. Like I mentioned before, you have a fantastic roster. Obviously you have managers who are genuinely enthused about working with your talent. And I know like you represent talent that’s like your website says social media personalities that do good in the world.

 I wanna hear like your most successful clients and everyone defines success in different ways, but let’s assume that for the sake of this conversation, those who are having very successful, lucrative, busy careers, why do you think that your most successful clients are as successful as they are? What do you attribute it to? 

[00:35:10] Lindsay: There’s so many things that come to mind when I think of someone that is successful with us and I think it’s a combination of a few things. I come from talent world. Like I used to book models outside of influencer world prior to me starting this. And you call it like the it factor, right?

So that’s the obvious one, that someone just has something different that stands out and I think they’re not doing what everyone else is doing. They have just something unique about them that they bring to the table. That’s a no-brainer to me.

I think the other, people we see really successful, obviously they treat it like a community. They make you feel like you’re their friend. So it’s like their community, is so engaged with everything that they do. And I think that is like a really big key factor in success with an influencer, at least from what we’ve seen.

Another thing, like consistency I think is so important. And consistency, professionalism. I know those seem small and, but it really actually does contribute to this whole picture of success as an influencer.

And then the last thing I would probably say , it’s not taking things so seriously and it’s like that balance between being professional and treating it like a business. You’ve got to approach it like you would any other business, but carrying it lightly. 

Like people take this so dang seriously and put so much pressure on themselves and people that we found really successful just have a lightheartedness about it and have fun with what they’re doing. You can literally see it when they talk on stories or posts like they’re having fun with it versus treating it so much like a business. You lose that connection I think with your community. 

[00:37:01] Jessy: I love that last point so much. And I feel like there are so many moments where a manager will touch base with their talent. It’s like, how are we doing? Let’s check in. What can we do improve and do better and do bigger and better, whatever.

And , I would talk to them about that point. What aspects of your business are you enjoying the most? What aspects of your business are you having the most fun? And is there an opportunity to amplify that? Because I don’t know, there was a conversation I think a couple days ago on our Slack board and when Slack board talking about what are all the revenue streams that you are cultivating for your clients as a talent manager?

And people are listing all sorts of interesting things. And I was like, those were fantastic to just be aware of as a manager of what the opportunities are. And you should always, in my opinion, like look to as many income streams and revenue streams as possible.

That just makes sense within their business. And to your point, how do you know which one makes sense? Do they love it? Do they enjoy it? Is it fun to them? Because we’re best at what we enjoy. Isn’t that true?

[00:38:14] Lindsay: Yep. And people try a little too hard in this industry, and you can tell, and then that steals the joy out of it, and then you’re showing up in a inauthentic way. And so I think sometimes people just take it all, it’s like the actual showing up on the platforms you’re on, like they take it a little too seriously.

So I feel like you can still be business minded, but like TikTok is so fun. I see people, I’ll meet people and I’m like, oh yeah, that aren’t on TikTok. And I’m like, that’s your platform, but you like cannot talk them off Instagram. But I’m like you’re made for TikTok, just your personality and all of that. 

So I just think when people try a little, in the sense of you still wanna put your best foot forward, but not take it so seriously. Don’t try so hard and yeah find that joy and in the industry, and if you took our like top 15 people at Parker in terms of like revenue streams, I would say they all have that element to them. And I think that’s really important. 

[00:39:22] Jessy: Can we talk a second also what is Parker’s process for finding new talent, discovering new talent? I think that managers struggle with that a lot, especially if they have the desire to grow and scale. But the key, of course, and most businesses is like, you wanna find the right people. Do you guys have any like methods or any sort of strategies that you guys implore for finding new talent?

[00:39:46] Lindsay: We do. Luckily we’re at the point now where it’s like if we see people, obviously we always have a pulse on, who’s growing. People like dream talent that we don’t know who manages ’em or whatever.

We have always that, but we’re so referral based now that it makes it pretty easy to see new talent. But then we have a vetting process for talent. And this is where it sucks, I’m not gonna lie. Like the business side of us is you have to make X amount of dollars, to make sense. 

I’m just like full transparency. We used to manage people that maybe made $50,000 a year in influencer marketing. And when you work off of a commission only and our commission is not that much, and that time invested in that person is so much of your energy. Like it didn’t make sense for us and we had to really change our model and who was the right fit. 

So there’s like a general revenue piece that plays a part in this, but also just in terms of like when you just see that it factor, whether they just, we always love quality content, obviously, and something different about them. Engaged audiences. That’s the other side. Like you could have really amazing content, but really low engagement. So that wouldn’t be a fit for us. It’s like that full package. 

 I think after you’ve just done it for so long, you know, and sometimes you still actually don’t know. You think someone will be one way and then they end up, it’s not what you thought. But we are really looking at things from so many different angles now.

And then of course, like one of the questions we ask, we send a survey and it’s like, what’s your impact? What are you doing? Are you just here to make money? It doesn’t need to be huge. You don’t need to be solving like, massive world problems, but are you here to make people laugh? Are you here to just be everybody’s best friend? What is your impact with your platform?

[00:41:51] Jessy: That also I assume helps, if you decide to move forward as well, like just having that communication helps to be able to indicate how your team can best support them. It’s like these are like great thought starters and great conversation starters. 

I appreciate that you’re saying, I might personally enjoy your content. If we’re not able to justify our commission like it’s probably just not going to make sense or be best for everybody. So much of this is about timing too. I find that if you find an influencer that their content’s amazing and you vibe, but like the financials just don’t make sense. It’s totally okay to just say let’s keep in touch and maybe perhaps now, is just not the best time. 

I feel like a lot of influencers actually really respect that. And just building that relationship and maybe giving them a few ideas of here’s what I would recommend free me, no strings attached, but if you focus on this area, focus on that, here’s a couple strategies.

Or maybe even connect with this influencer strategist or coach and they can help amplify just the littlest bit more that we would need to then take everything to the next level and work together. Then let’s touch base. 

[00:43:11] Lindsay: I was gonna say too, like sometimes it’s just surely they’re like under chart. So that’s the other component. This is where it’s so not like black and white but for instance, you might have someone where you look at their insights and they have they have 80,000 followers, yet they’re having like, 20,000 views per story frame. There’s other components and then they’re charging like 250 a post.

So if we run into that often too, where it’s oh yeah, you might not be making that money now, but that’s because you need our help. And those people are really exciting for us because it’s like we get them to where they should be in terms of their business and then they’re growing quickly.

 I think the key is just asking a lot of questions. Like a lot of different things have to line up. And sometimes honestly they check all those boxes and they’re like lucrative financially and it’s just a feeling of it’s just not the right fit. And that is the emotional, I think the element there as well.

So there’s just so many things and you just have to really understand their business, before, like jumping in. 

[00:44:27] Jessy: I guess one thing I think it’s important to mention is just the power in no and not making decisions out of fear. Perhaps the fear that like, I gotta pay my employees, I gotta get more clients, I gotta have more income coming in or oh my gosh, this influencer they’re willing to work with us. I have to work with them. I should say yes. And it’s I appreciate what you’re saying, which is sometimes this is like intangible, instinctual feel. That something’s not right, perhaps. I think that in those instances and I’d be curious to hear your process how many people or who is giving the go ahead, right?

Especially in a larger company. Do all the managers have to agree to sign a new person? Is it like a handful of people? I would assume nice to be able to like gut check each other and have a conversation because different people are gonna see different things and pick up on different things, perhaps ask different questions.

What is your process? I’d be curious at Parker in terms of who needs to sign off and approve on signing a new person? 

[00:45:35] Lindsay: So our director of talent is the main person. Like, she is the ultimate say so. If it’s someone like really big that, we want like multiple people on the call, sometimes I’ll jump on those. I used to be on all of them, but she took over a while back. The manager that person would go to has to be on the call. And then from there, sometimes you just don’t know and you have to get started to know. 

 At over the years we realized we needed a better review process. You kinda now within the first month if something’s going well, it just like works and we can bring them opportunities. They have great opportunities coming to them. It’s just like a very well-oiled machine and you can feel that pretty quickly.

But what we found is just doing a quick review after two or three months, we like a 90 day basically to check in and just go are like, how’s this going? And at that point we assess it. And we don’t wanna waste anyone’s time. And I think that review process is probably equally as important as like taking someone on. Cause sometimes you just don’t know until you start working with them. 

[00:46:49] Jessy: That’s true also, even in terms of employees. Everybody best basically puts their best foot forward. And I don’t know, like you never really know until you truly start working with someone. I think one of the last questions I’m gonna have time to be able to ask you today and like it’s been such a pleasure chatting with you and just getting to know you better, this has been so awesome.

I wanna know, like in terms of the career economy broadly, having been in it for as long as you have, I would love to hear from you what would you like to see change? And also where do you see it going? Big question. I know, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

[00:47:27] Lindsay: So, I don’t see it going anywhere. That’s for sure. Video obviously, in terms of where it’s going, I think if you’re not creating video content ,it’s gonna be detrimental to your business. But I also think in terms of just what’s hard about this industry is I kinda what we touched on earlier, the mental health piece, and it needs to start from the platforms.

I will say I really like TikTok and what they’re doing in terms of like their backend team. In terms of supporting creators to be successful. I think that’s really important and it needs to start with the actual platforms itself and also needs to start from management companies and brands like we all need to contribute to this.

But that mental health piece of just, for instance, like people wanting to take time off. That whole feeling of, oh, if they’re big platform is Instagram, like they feel punished by taking that time off from the platform.

 So having tools and things in our industry to help people not feel that way. And again, more conversations like this to just help the industry be a little bit more savvy in that area of promoting health. Because the end of the day, this industry is amazing and it’s so fun and exciting and it can be also the most toxic terrible place, honestly. And I hate that feeling.

I’m just always really motivated and excited to try and do things in a different way. And so that is by far what stands out to me the most. But in terms of the industry, you just gotta keep being ready to evolve and change and shake things up and not stay in your, one dimensional lane.

[00:49:21] Jessy: Like love change. You gotta live for it. If that’s like the one thing that’s constant in life, in the world and definitely in terms of influencer marketing, social media, like it is changing and evolving. And it could be exciting, but some people are very adverse to change and no shade on those people.

But this might not be the best industry for you. And I don’t know. That’s, this is like such a tangent and probably won’t go down it, but I don’t know. I’m like, you can white knuckle your way through a lot of things. It doesn’t mean that you should be doing it, it doesn’t mean that that’s the way to architect the best life for yourself.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. And in a lot of instances, like these, like high performing professionals, we can white knuckle our way through just about anything. And it’s not a badge of honor to have to do that or to do that. It’s not proving anything valuable to anybody.

It’s simply white knuckling your way and being incredibly uncomfortable in something that you’re just talented enough to get through. But I think that , if we can give ourselves permission to lean into things that we enjoy that we’re good at, that gives us the joy that you were talking about earlier.

And all these positive things like that is what we’re gonna excel at the most anyway, and that’s what’s gonna just make a more fulfilling life for ourselves. And we have so many things to say about that. But it sounds like you’ve done so much of that yourself. I feel like we’re all on this journey together.

[00:50:57] Lindsay: It’s just, you gotta start somewhere and put an effort into it and yeah it’s takes a lot of conscious effort. 

[00:51:05] Jessy: It’s a lot of conscious effort. I appreciate you saying it like that. It’s been such a pleasure having you on. I wanna have so many more conversations with you. I have so many more questions. I just wanna know more about you. I’m so impressed with your business, your company, and just like you, I think you’re fantastic.

So for anyone tuning in that wants to get in touch with you and learn more about you themselves, what’s the best way for them to do that?

[00:51:31] Lindsay: Yeah, hello Instagram, email. We actually are on TikTok, but Parker Management is our handle. TikTok and Instagram, our website’s, parkertalentmanagement.com. My personal one is at Lindsay Nead. N as in Nancy, E A D Everyone always says an M.

But yeah, feel free or email me. I love talking to anyone in the industry, anyone in the community at any time.

[00:51:56] Jessy: We’ve had so many people saying things like Maggie just said absolutely love Lindsay. Please have her back on.

[00:52:05] Lindsay: That’s so sweet.

[00:52:06] Jessy: So, so sweet and I couldn’t agree more. It’s been so awesome chatting with you. And I wanna get into a couple questions that we got from our community as well. Thank you Maggie for tuning in.

So here’s a question from Brianna. Who shows up to all of our events. Brianna, I love you. I see you at every event. You are the best. So she’s says, hi Lindsay and Wiim. Has Lindsay seen us a new shift in the platforms that talent are most interested in or types of content that they wanna create? Cool Question. What are your thoughts on that?

[00:52:38] Lindsay: New shift in the platforms that talent are more interested in are the types of content? I honestly just feel like they are trying to keep up. Like I mentioned, video content is so important and it’s just what is trending, I would say, in our industry. But I would just say that, TikTok obviously has blown up.

 I will say news like that’s not like a actual full on social media platform, but newsletters are coming back around and I think people are trying more than anything to just to diversify. You said it earlier, Jesse, diversify the platforms that they’re on, they realize they cannot just lean on be Instagram heavy, even though it’s really easy to be that.

But yeah, I think again, video content platforms like TikTok, that is where people are moving to. 

[00:53:36] Jessy: Yeah, I know. I definitely see that. I think that’s super interesting. And every talent’s different, of course, right? I’ve seen a lot of people personally, talk a lot about podcasts, which is interesting, of course, cause recording one.

But like leaning into this more casual conversation. It’s like a pretty low lift. Like I’m literally in my like office right now recording remotely or in yours, right? There’s podcasts, partnerships so much, and it’s also just like another add-on. It’s a way to have like your community maybe get to know you a little bit better. Yeah. What else did you wanna add, Lindsay? 

[00:54:12] Lindsay: I was just gonna say it’s not a platform, but the biggest shift we’re seeing in our industry right now are co-branded collaborations and people actually wanting to make their own products. So that is like our full focus right now is there. 

So like diversifying these other, whether you wanna be on TV or you want a podcast, or you wanna write a book, or you want to create your own clothing brand or skincare brand like, platforms like that is our big effort.

[00:54:44] Jessy: Very cool. And that’s hard to do. That is not easy. You really need people with that expertise to be able to do it. So commendable that you guys are getting into it. So here’s a question that came in from Maggie. And as you can see, if you put your profile picture on your YouTube profile, your beautiful face pops up in the question

So we can see Maggie. So she’s asking what are your thoughts on brands probably more interested in TikTok now. How are you encouraging your influences to create on TikTok? Perhaps those who aren’t on it yet, or those who may be intimidated by it, or like you were saying earlier, like those who are like, I’m a diehard Instagram person.

 What are those conversations like with your talent? 

[00:55:24] Lindsay: TikTok is not for every person. So it takes a special person. But the common thing we hear from a lot of our, we call ’em like our og blogger talent that have been doing this for a long time. It started with a blog when they moved to Instagram. They are like, I’m too old for TikTok. And I’m just like really helping them shift that dialogue because some of them are actually like made for TikTok when you look at what TikTok is as a platform. So we’re specific on who we suggest moving to TikTok cause it’s definitely not for everybody. But in general, we found most people like can find a really fun niche there and a lot of success. 

In terms of like brands more interested in TikTok. We’ve seen a huge shift. I would actually say brands are leaning on us. They’re like trying to dabble in to TikTok, and so they’re really looking for us to help them take that chance.

It’s a new platform. I feel like it’s just something new for a lot of people. So we’ve found that, like we’re in that conversation with brands. Like we find with, some of our talent that they wanna put budget towards an Instagram Reel, and we try to lightly explain to them that we would probably suggest you book them on TikTok instead for that partnership. So just TikTok conversations are a lot right now.

[00:57:02] Jessy: Yeah. TikTok conversations are over right now. Yeah. They’re plentiful. They’re happening often. So many brands and if they weren’t intrigued by TikTok a year ago and that was the hottest conversation, now, there’s just seeing so many people who are on it and it’s different.

It is different than the other platforms. Talking about, encouraging your influencers to create on TikTok. I can imagine, I’m just trying to empathize and put myself in the influencers shoes for a second that I can imagine, like if they have for years worked to build up their presence on let’s say Instagram or YouTube or whatever it is, and they’re there, it can be challenging to be like I feel like I’m starting over.

Like I’m starting for rush on a new platform. Zero followers, like ego could get in the way, like intimidation can get in the way. Are you having any of those types of conversations and how are those going? 

[00:58:01] Lindsay: Oh, without question all the time, and honestly I think TikTok is not actually that hard. This is the thing, people overthink how they’re gonna show up there and really and I forget who said this, but inform, inspire or entertain. And I always love that because that it’s like that simple, just pick which route where you’re gonna go over there.

 I think just people think it’s a lot more intimidating than it is, and the best thing you can do is to get started and see what lands. When TikTok first came out, like I had to understand it if I was gonna talk to I had need to understand it firsthand.

And if I was gonna encourage, our talent on how to use it and even for myself to see, I don’t actively post on there, but to see, want like what landed, and what people are really after. I think talent need to do that. They need to just try certain things and it’s gonna be very clear what people are gravitating towards.

And then you see that and you run with it. The same way I always say look at your Instagram analytics, like what are people saving the most? What are they engaging with the most? That’s what people are wanting to hear from you about. 

[00:59:18] Jessy: I appreciate that. And I’m gonna show. Shanea, just said, we’ve made TikTok mandatory at our agency.

[00:59:23] Lindsay: Awesome. Love that. 

[00:59:25] Jessy: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:59:26] Lindsay: I’m curious how that went over? 

[00:59:30] Jessy: Same. I’m curious. It’s interesting to take that stance and again, like everyone’s talent is different. Like perhaps if all your talent is already doing so much on Reels, you’re like, guys, like we’ll get you over the hump. You’re already able to do short form video, so that’s not the issue.

Perhaps it’s the mental piece of starting over and like that we’re gonna help you get over, right? Like part of being a manager is being a coach, being, their like North star to guide them to where they should be, need to be based on their goals and desires. 

Shanea, it’ll be really interesting to hear from you as time goes on, like how that’s going and I’d love to hear more about that. Oh here she shared, we’ve told everyone to spend time on the app and figure out how they wanna show up on TikTok. There’s literally something for everyone on the app. That’s my experience too. I appreciate that stance. 

[01:00:19] Lindsay: There really is there, but you have to find that and I will tell you too, I find that it’s a happy platform for a lot of people and so I lead with that often. Cause I think Instagram just over the last year has become a little bit more discouraging for many people and people find a lot of just fulfillment and joy with TikTok.

It’s just not as hard, complicated. You have a lot more support. So yeah, I feel like it’s like a happier platform in many ways. 

[01:00:50] Jessy: I think that the last question that we have time for today, and this has been so fun by the way, I’m sitting here with Lindsay having a fantastic time, but it’s so cool.

Also invite you guys and to chat with us. This is so fun. I’m so excited. We’re gonna be doing this with all of our podcast guests moving forward. And Lindsay, you’re like, been the best to like, start this out with and launch this initiative. Oh gosh. I wanna have you back on our last question is from Maggie.

What’s been the hardest part of growing your business, and when did you feel that tension? 

[01:01:21] Lindsay: Ooh, oh my gosh. I’m like really trying to think about this. I started to feel the tension about a year ago, when some of our talents started blowing up. And I for a long time felt like we just flew under the radar in our industry.

And I loved that. I felt like we just had no drama, no controversy. I don’t know. It felt really good in many ways to be that type of business. And as we grew and our talent grew, like we became way much more in front of people. 

And then you just get wrapped up in the industry and you can’t help it because of the things you’re working on. It’s business. There’s like a lot of downsides to that. And that part for me really it was such a personal thing, but I feel like it derailed me from just like doing what we love and staying in our own lane because, like you can’t help but get caught up in that.

 That stood out to me cause that’s like definitely when I started feeling the tension of the growing pains that were good and also bad. And as you get bigger and you keep growing, I feel like there are more things. We just had our first employee leave our team, which was like, it’s all on good terms that we’ve never had anyone leave.

We have 16 employees and this was like our first employee, that has left and like we’ve never dealt with that. So going through all of that has been interesting. So I feel like I just mentally am like prepped. I know this is business. I know these things are gonna happen. But I think as you get bigger, they just happen more frequently. 

[01:03:15] Jessy: Absolutely. A hundred percent. Thank you so much for answering everyone’s questions today, being such a pleasure to have on today. I also will drop in the show notes of the episode, what you mentioned of ways to get in touch or email your Instagram, all of that so people can reach out to you.

I’m so appreciative of you being on today and to everybody who’s tuning in live, you guys are the best. I so appreciate you guys. Like trying this out with us. And the best way to know of all the next guests that we have on, just go to iamwiim.com/events.

Make sure you’re logged in as a member because only members will see these podcast events. It’s only visible to people who are logged into the site. We’re also launching the new site in about a month, guys, so get excited. And you can see like I’m trying my best to get like the most incredible people on so we can just have these open, candid, awesome conversations. But invite you guys to them.

I ask a couple things, but you guys ask way better questions. 

[01:04:19] Lindsay: Honestly, just know I’m here as you are, Jessy, to just like anyone as much as I can too. I don’t have all the answers, but like, my goal is just to make this a more collaborative, connected industry. So that’s all. Thank you for doing this.

[01:04:38] Jessy: If you enjoy this episode, we gotta have you back. Check out our website for more ways to get involved, including all the information you need about joining our collective. You can check out all the information at iamwiim.com. Leave us a review, a rating, but the most important thing that we can ask you to do is to share this podcast.

Thanks for listening. Tune in next week.

Lindsay Nead


Lindsay Nead is the founder and CEO of Parker Management, an influencer talent management company based in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Lindsay has pioneered a way through the talent management industry with integrity and compassion. On a mission to represent social media personalities that do good in the world, Parker Management has an impressive talent roster of top influencers who have a passion to create for their devoted audiences. In addition to serving clients, Parker Management works with the world’s leading brands and agencies, helping them find a voice through authentic and beneficial partnerships.

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