People Come First And The Money Will Follow With @chantalrotando

Today we’re speaking with Chantal Rotondo, Director of Business Development of Long Haul Management. Born near Boston, MA, went to DC for college and studied Marketing, Tourism and Event Management. Chantal worked in non-profit associations for almost 15 years, moved to Denver and worked remotely until she got laid off. She then pivoted to working in the creator economy, working for a merch company and now talent management at Long Haul Management. She's a mom to 2 terrific kids, and Board member for her Jewish congregation and local theater company.



[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 

Welcome. I am super excited to have you here today, Chantal. I am like, anxious to ask you some questions about your business, learn more about you, and I’m just excited to have you here today. So first and foremost, welcome. How are you?

[00:00:43] Chantal: I’m good, and I’m so happy to be here with you. I am so happy for the community that you’ve grown and so thankful for it. I have for a long time wish that I had more time in our growing business to spend time on the Facebook page and see what people are posting and be more of a commenter. But I so appreciate the community that you have cultivated and it’s just a joy to see it thriving. And to be a part.

[00:01:08] Jessy: I’m super grateful to have you be part of it. It’s fun, man. When we have people like you in it who like, contribute and like just have fun with it, that’s when it’s the most fun. So, I’m just super grateful to have you in it. I love our management community. I feel like you guys are like the most, some of the most engaged members of the community, like you guys really get into some really good conversations, ask really good questions. Yeah. So…

[00:01:35] Chantal: I find it incredibly valuable to have the other talent managers and to even have the kind of that little subsection because, and I’ll share a little bit like , I have only been in the influencer marketing space for almost four years, so in some ways that is forever. 

But in a lot of ways, there’s amazing members who have been here for a lot longer and even as Instagram decides to change everything every four minutes it’s always nice to be like, hey, did you see this? Or have you worked with this agency? Or, what are your best practices when dealing with this type of client? And so having those people, to bounce ideas off of and learn from has been amazing. And yeah.

[00:02:15] Jessy: That’s, like the spirit of the group. So I don’t know. I say this a million times, but we’re only as great of a community as the people who are in the community. That is certainly the ideal situation, which is that like you’re open to sharing, you’re open to asking just as much as you’re open to sharing. I don’t know. It’s great to hear that you’ve had a really great experience and that they’re like awesome, people that you’ve connected with in the group.

So with that being said, I’m gonna like briefly introduce you to everyone who’s tuning in today, and I have a bunch of questions and I’m excited to ask you. So first, just to like briefly introduce you, so you were born in Boston but went to DC for college and you didn’t study, marketing, tourism and event management.

Chantal worked in nonprofit associations for almost 15 years, and then she moved to Denver and worked remotely until she got laid off, which we’re gonna chat about later. Cause I feel like there are so many lessons for someone to glean from, going through that kind of an experience, then that’s when she actually pivoted to working in the creator economy, which is when she worked for a merch company and now you’re in talent management, of course at Long Haul management.

But then I love learning more about the women in our community a little bit like outside of work. So I love learning that you’re a mom of two and you’re also a board member of your Jewish congregation. And your local theater company. Shout out to a fellow theater girl. 

[00:03:55] Chantal: Hell yeah.

[00:03:56] Jessy: Hell yeah. So with all that being said, I feel like my first question to you, everybody has different motivations in life. Motivation could be like, Ugh, I got laid off, man like I had to rebuild. I don’t know. Or I have two incredible kids and I wanna teach them. What is your motivation in business? And essentially what is your business? Why? 

[00:04:24] Chantal: Sure. What a great question. I think I look at it in business and in life, but I had a big influence from my family growing up in that my grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and so having a sense of community was always really important to my mom and my dad, even as they moved from South Africa to The States, like creating a sense of community.

And so being kind and, helping other people in need and being aware of the people around you and how you can lift them up in some ways has always been really important to me. So throughout my career, it’s been about business and, learning and continuous learning and self-improvement, but it’s always been also about the relationship. 

So having meaningful connections with the people that I work with, having meaningful connections with, both colleagues and clients or the members that I’m serving from the association world and really, connecting with people on a person level. 

So I try not to start business meetings with, let’s get right to it. Let’s cover the brief, but hey, how’s your day? Where are you zooming in from nowadays? To get to know the person ,cause I’ve just seen that having, at least a little bit of that personal relationship just makes business and life in general, so much easier and more fulfilling.

So I’m feeling a little bit stretched right now because the theater I’m on the board with is, going through a capital campaign and the congregation’s going great, but figuring out, zooming and live streaming and work is, so great and so rewarding. And we’ve grown from four people last year to 12 people this year.

And I have many hats on in our company, so I’m HR, I’m also Biz Dev, I’m also Operations. So juggling everything, but always taking the time when possible to connect with individuals and creating the culture that I wanna see where it’s, you come first, people come first, relationships come first and you know the money will follow.

But, living in a way that you’re creating, whether it’s content from our clients, but like creating something that brings a smile to other people’s faces like all of our creators do, or giving back in some way has always been really meaningful. 

[00:06:44] Jessy: Well, I think that’s a beautiful mission and like personal touch to your work. What drives you, et cetera, et cetera. The relationship piece, like real talk as a manager and especially since you’re like, I wear a million hats cause like yes, absolutely. That can be really hard, right? And I always wanna be real about what we’re all going through as influencer marketers and business owners and the whole nine.

So I wanna get like specific, I wanna get tactical. I would love to hear from you. Like, okay. So it sounds like you really prioritize relationships, relationship building, and I’ve always gotten that sense from you. So you’re doing a good job at it, coming across.

So my question for you is are there certain ways that help you do that? Are there certain like schedules I don’t know, every once a month, the first of the month I reach out to certain people. Are there certain things that you do to really help facilitate building those relationships?

[00:07:49] Chantal: Amazing question. And I think it’s one of those things where I wish I had more hours in the day and even when, I do go back to work sometimes late at night, like there’s still just not enough time.

So I think, it’s funny, when I worked remotely, I was the only marketing person. I work remotely now in my job, but in a previous job, I was the only person on my team who wasn’t in the DC area, and I’d fly back every month or so, and when I flew back, I, did work late at night. But I made a point when I was in the office to go and see everyone and check in, hey, how are you? As a person and hey let’s talk about this later. And the kind of the water cooler conversations that I think a lot of us maybe miss now if we’re not back in the office.

And then virtually, we do, as a company, have regular Zoom meetings. So we are checking in face to face. So even if, the sales team is busy in emails, trying to close more deals for our clients and the execution team is reaching out to, work with all of our clients on the ongoing campaigns, we still have those touchpoints and we’re all still learning from each other. In a way that’s like not a meeting for meeting’s sake, cause Lord knows nobody wants that.

But in a way where, we do have kind of that check-in to make sure we’re on the same page. We’re all connecting, we’re sharing best practices, we’re always learning from each other. So I think, having that culture of learning, cause it is tough to reach out to everyone and our roster has grown significantly.

So I think one of the things we’re still figuring out is really, how to split up people’s time so that our clients do feel like there’s a whole team behind them, but that we also have that one-on-one touch. 

And so sometimes it is. Yeah, like a monthly, hey, here’s a reach out. I haven’t talked to you in a while, so just wanna hear your voice. Know that I’m working on things for you. Looking forward to bringing you deals soon. 

So I think scheduling things . I heard this thing, which I love, which is, schedule your priorities and don’t prioritize your schedule. Cause I think, it’s like working out or doing whatever. If it’s not on the schedule for me, it’s not gonna get done.

So making sure that you’re thinking about what is important to me in my life, what is important to me to get done and actually putting it on a calendar and making sure that you have time set aside is so Important. 

One of the things, I’ve been doing with my daughter just for quality time is recently after dinner, we play skippo. It’s just a card game. She knows I’m stuck in my office, late and early sometimes. But, making sure to have that time schedule that we can look forward to together is really important.

[00:10:32] Jessy: Wait I don’t know, Skippo, how do you play Skippo? Tell me.

[00:10:40] Chantal: It’s like spite and malice where you have a deck of cards and you need to, go like one through 12 and then get new cards. So basically you have a deck and you need to get rid of all of your cards and other cards help you. That’s a terrible explanation, but it’s fun. 

[00:10:55] Jessy: No, that’s awesome. How old your kids, by the way?

[00:10:57] Chantal: So my daughter is 10 and turning 11 soon, and my son is 13. I’m in Denver and I grew up on the East coast where school goes to end of June, and it still is a shock to me that tomorrow May 25th is their last school day of the year. I’m like, where did it go? 

[00:11:17] Jessy: Oh my God. May 25th. That’s so early. Did they start earlier as well?

[00:11:24] Chantal: They start mid-August.

[00:11:27] Jessy: Got it. Got it. 

[00:11:28] Chantal: Yeah.

[00:11:29] Jessy: Oh my gosh. 

[00:11:30] Chantal: Real quick over here.

[00:11:33] Jessy: Totally. That’s so interesting. I appreciate that you’ve sort of infuse into the conversation, like how to build relationships not only with your brands, the agencies, your clients, but also your family. 

That’s important because all this takes focus and prioritization and let’s not forget about the things that are like most important in life. And like even for those of us who are obsessed and love their work. Cause it’s fun. It is fun. Everything is…

It is also fun, important and healthy to know, like outside of work, what’s also important to you. So I don’t know, in that spirit, I heard a little bit about how like theater, you love theater, Jewish congregation, your kids, like what else do you like do to, unwind from work and what else are you into? 

[00:12:28] Chantal: Oh boy. I’ll be honest, that all keeps me busy. My daughter plays soccer and my son does Taekwondo. We’re very much in that like kid activities and work and maybe enjoying class of wine on the weekends.

We have good friends. My husband likes to cook, so I’m very lucky in that he does a lot of the posting and cooking duties, and I get to enjoy.

So yeah, I wish I had more free time to do fun things. In Denver, everyone does enjoy the outside, so we love to go hiking and go up to the mountains. But a lot of time is spent, I working and closing deals and making sure business is continuing, which is great.

[00:13:11] Jessy: Real talk. Yeah, no I get that. I hear you on that. What does the influencer marketing community look like in Denver? I know a couple other people there. I know someone who just moved there, so I’m like curious. I’m like, is Denver a market that like you think people should keep an eye on?

[00:13:31] Chantal: I am probably not the best to answer because I’ve worked from home for so long now that I feel like I don’t know the community and so I worked for an association in DC for a long time. I worked remotely and as you mentioned in the intro, I got laid off and I wanted to share that experience because I was not expecting it. A whole bunch of people got laid off at the same time. 

I was the only person, from my marketing department who wasn’t in town. And it was a real blow to my ego. I was like, what am I gonna do? I don’t have a network in Denver. And so it really, took me a minute to shake myself off and it was a lot tougher, I will say, to look for jobs. 

This was four years ago than I thought. I’m, now 42. And as you get older and you have expectations of the salary and other stuff, it sometimes is hard to start over. And what I learned when I was looking for jobs in Denver is that the association world is really an interesting subsect.

And in DC everyone knows it. And you can see how it applies to B2B or B2C, but if you aren’t so familiar with it, and I know I had a million dollar budget, like I was working on a whole bunch of stuff. I was acquiring new members, which is very similar to acquiring new customers.

But, I think it’s an interesting transition if you’re trying to explain, to HR people who are reviewing tons of resumes, what is it that you know this person can do and do they have the direct relevant experience that’s going to translate easily. And even if you do, it’s sometimes not as easy to get through that threshold.

So I discovered that, creating a community and reaching out to other marketing people, cause that was my background in Denver was super important. I also have an event management background. I did wedding planning. 

So I was like, what do I wanna do with my time? I don’t necessarily wanna give up my weekends with kids now for wedding planning, but I do love the event space. I love putting things together. 

And at the time, I think something really important is when your career isn’t exactly where you want it to be, or you’re feeling frustrated in some other way. I think it’s really important to consider. We should all be learning. We should all be trying new things and putting ourselves out there and maybe it’ll work and maybe it won’t.

And I think especially now, companies get that you don’t need to stay for years and years. It’s not necessarily a red flag, but you can go and try something and discover if it’s a fit or not. I think, trying new positions and even if you’re able to get a contract job, It’s a great way to see what is it that I like in this role? What is it that I don’t like in this role? How is it that I can add value to perhaps change the role to what I want it to be? And I think it’s, really important. Someone once said, when you’re looking at new jobs, don’t always just look at title. Think about what skills are you gonna be learning that you can take into the future.

So I got connected. My brother actually connected me with one of his clients. My brother is Dan. He started Long Haul Management and at the time he was a one man show, but he had met MatPat of game theorist and film theorist and now food theorist. He got 20 million subscribers now, but he had met him back in the MCN world years ago.

And he started bringing Matt deals and Matt’s following continued to grow and Matt has a great merch partnership with Creator Inc. And so they were starting up and growing and needed someone who could respond to customer service and help backend and start as they grow. 

So I was like, that’s something I can do. I can do it while I’m looking for jobs. It was part-time, it was hourly, but it was really neat to get a foot in the door and see how engaged creators fans were. Like I had parents emailing in about the merch and my, this makes my son so happy and he’s autistic and this is the one YouTube show that I, really watch with him and just enjoy the smart analysis of fun video games and makes my kids so happy. 

Like that kind of stuff was so heartwarming and I’m like, these creators, it’s not just a YouTuber as it was, the YouTuber space is like really meaningful and maybe more so than I thought as someone who traditionally watched other streaming services and I started realizing the power that these people have over, creating happiness and, creating joy.

And so it was really neat to see, and as my brother decided that he could use help scaling his business, it was an interesting fit. We’re like, okay, so either we’ll kill each other or, we do actually see the value that each person brings. 

So I have a big a backgrounds in marketing and in tech analysis. Use case scenario, customer acquisition. So I have the marketing hat and he is more of the visionary. And so actually having that partnership where, we can work together, we value each other’s opinions because I’m the older sister. Maybe I respect his authority in the company and his vast experience, but also I’m not afraid to push back when I’m like, you’re being ridiculous right now.

 I will say working with family is interesting but it’s been so rewarding and I’m so proud of him as an employee, but also as a family member to see the company that, he started, but that I’ve substantially contribute to and help build. And it really is family pride over what we’ve all created.

[00:19:16] Jessy: Oh, I have so many questions. I have so many questions. Okay. Let’s first start with the fact that you work with your brother. I will share transparently that I have worked with family in the past and did not have a good experience at all what whatsoever.

And I am very like, impressed, It sounds like you guys have a very healthy working relationship. You’ve obviously created, and grown and scaled, like you said, this great agency. You should know , I have been speaking with people recently about stuff and gaming your name comes up in a very positive light and pretty consistently as like you guys have really made a great name for yourself and your agency.

So I hope you both are really proud of what you built. That’s a separate item that I wanted to just share with you. It’s true, I just pass along great feedback. But separately, I’m very impressed by the fact that like you and your brother are making it work so well.

For anyone listening or watching who is considering going into business with family, I can share the horror stories and I want you to share maybe like what they should ask and talk about beforehand, like how to decide if it’s a good fit, tips and tricks. Like anything that you can share with people who are considering working with family?

[00:20:46] Chantal: Sure. I think personality matters for sure. So knowing the roles and established, responsibilities and what each person is gonna be taking on is really important. We also grew up being very direct. So my brother pulls no punches. You will know what he is thinking. You will know what he is feeling. 

And in the beginning it did take me a little while where, I’d send an email, he’d be copied, and then three seconds later I’d get an email saying, I would’ve worded it this way. And I was like, dude, micromanaged much like what? Like so annoying.

But I realized, that was his way and also he hadn’t, managed a ton of people before. That was his way of saying, this is what I’ve learned works better. And so as I got to see, and working through here’s what I’m feeling when you’re giving me this feedback and here’s how I would prefer to get this feedback is really important to have those conversations, not just with the family member, but I think with any manager or person that you’re working with because not everybody, wants that direct thing, or they might not want it in person, they might want it in an email so they can read and reflect.

So I do think getting to know personalities and how people react to different types of feedback is really important and how people want to be managed because, it’s his company, his reputation is on the line.

But I think it’s also interesting that, you’ve interviewed so many amazing leaders of companies, and I find it so inspiring, but quite honestly, it hasn’t ever been my ambition to lead a company. I know my skills and I am a doer. If you want something done, I’m gonna get it done. I’m gonna do it well and I’m gonna, hopefully bring efficiencies and bring a ton of value.

But I am not the one to necessarily see five years, ten years down the road on what trends are happening, cause I’m busy doing, and that’s not to say that I’m not strategic and can’t, manage ahead of things, but that’s not what comes as naturally to me.

So I think also having a really good sense of, what are the things that you enjoy doing and that you know you’re good at, and then letting the other person go. I will say it was helpful that I was in Denver and he was in LA because when we did get annoyed with each other, especially early, I could hang up the phone in seven minutes.

[00:23:07] Jessy: Man, you gotta know like where the pros are, right? I can hang up a phone that it works for us. That helps us real talk like, no. Yeah. I love that. 

And I think, like what I’m hearing you describe like yes, applicable to working with family, but what you were insinuating to like applicable to like how to work best with your clients, how to work best with the brands.

Just in general like communicating, like knowing where your strengths are, where their strengths are. It sounds like you also have a very genuine respect for each other, which I think is like huge in terms of just like setting a really solid foundation for your relationship. So I love that. I think this is all great advice.

I wanna pivot slightly. Let’s talk more about like influencer marketing more specifically. I wanna know from your perspective, what do you think that influencer marketers these days could and should be doing better? 

[00:24:10] Chantal: One of the things that I love in my position. Putting my BizDev hat on, is that I see a lot of briefs and campaigns coming through and from a marketing background, I get so excited like oh, the NBA is promoting the playoffs this way. And I give that basketball example cause we have a large basketball roster or Papa Johns is doing this campaign, or Puma is showing off all of their new suedes this way. 

So I love seeing all of the campaigns come through. I do think, where there’s still opportunity is in some ways to really better understand the creators and the briefs and really allow the creator to come up with what they think is going to do the best on their channels.

So there are some times still where I’ll see, the overall campaign overview. It’s a couple sentences and then the brief is like 1700 talking points and this kind of thing. So I think, obviously some things are, regulated and need to have the accurate talking points and the dos and the don’ts, which I do think is super helpful. 

But I think in general, giving the creators the space to say, here’s what we’re trying to accomplish, and we trust you to go and be creative and to come up with the content that we know that you know your fans are gonna love. I think that’s a real opportunity still.

[00:25:35] Jessy: I appreciate that so much. I think people’s ego gets in the way a little bit. I also think, like from an agency’s perspective, I said this before on the podcast, but like I understand that, if an agency is hired, they feel like they have to justify their work. We all do. 

And so what I mean by that is if they come in, they feel probably pressured rightfully so in some instances to just come up with the creative of the campaign and then they brief the influencers. And then I feel like they stick a little too hard to that original concept. They don’t really let the influencer sort off take it as inspiration. 

 It almost feels like a mandate. So I don’t know. I bring that up to say I understand, like I empathize where people are coming from. But it sounds like in your experience, I know in my experience like, if you sort of provide a framework and then let the influencer fly and interpret it, and like add some flavor of what they know that their audience will appreciate and will resonate with and all that stuff, it’s so much better. Plus all the influencers content doesn’t feel the same. Like it feels special, it feels different. You have lots of different types of pieces of content to utilize. 

So anyways, I appreciate all that perspective. I wanna talk a little bit about trends, because I feel since TikTok became like this huge thing, people talk a lot more perhaps about trends like look, if a social platform has a new feature that they’ve recently rolled out like, I don’t know, Reels aren’t new, but when Reels were new and you were creating Reels, your Reels were getting tons of reach and impressions. Why? Because it was a new thing for Instagram. And so they were just promoting the hack outta it. But you could also talk about like trends in terms of a challenge on TikTok, some trending types of videos.

I would love to hear like, what trends have stood out to you lately, especially cause of like your niche and the type of talent that you represent. What trends do you think people should be aware of these days, that are really interesting? 

[00:27:57] Chantal: Great question. Trends. I’ve seen a lot more agencies looking to take advantage of Reels. This is a tough one for me cause I feel like, I’m busy like doing a lot and looking at all the campaigns that are coming in, but not necessarily taking a step back to see trends.

I think, what I have seen is I’ve seen a lot more of brands not necessarily wanting to just be on one platform, obviously, but spreading the wealth between TikTok and Instagram. I don’t think that’s, super new.

I have seen, I think the awareness campaigns obviously are huge on TikTok still. What I have seen also is a lot of companies starting to, invest more in music and promote more music. And so music publishing is always one of the things that’s claimed immediately on YouTube and on Instagram. But I’ve seen a lot more companies come in, customizing their own music on campaigns, which I do think is great. And having that trend on the TikTok and other stuff like that. 

[00:29:06] Jessy: No, I think that’s all. No, that’s great. I think that’s awesome to hear about like the, so the music and I think that’s really interesting. I’d love to, dig more into the type of talent that you guys represent cause it’s unique, it’s different.

First of all, share with our audience, if you don’t mind, like a snapshot of your roster, like the types of talent that you guys represent. Maybe the number of influencers that you represent. Give us an idea of who you guys are working with. 

[00:29:35] Chantal: Yeah, of course. So, we’ve started in the sports meets gaming realm. So we have a bunch of channels that use sports analysis and then we have a number of channels who started crossing over or met online doing gaming and specifically NBA2K and Madden and crossed over to doing some IRL challenges.

So a while ago, Dude Perfect was out there doing all sorts of challenge. But my brother, as he was growing the company saw, there’s a lot of diverse creators who are doing some really cool things and are in that intersection between streetwear and NBA2K and sports gaming and vlogging and doing some fun sports challenges in real life.

So 2HYPE is one of our big creators. We have another group, AMP, out of Atlanta and we’ve grown in kind of that IRL challenge space, it’s also we’ve grown into the just NBA and basketball creators in general. 

So we have some former Harlem Globe Trotters, Crissa Jackson and Bree Green are some of the few female Harlem Globe Trotters that are on our roster. And then we have a bunch of other sports creators who are doing really cool stuff. 

So Stefania, is one of our creators who carries a basketball hoop and goes from city to city, bringing people together to play hoop. So she did that during Black Lives Matter events in Philadelphia and near where she’s from. And she’s doing that now across the country. And we have Tristan Jass, who’s known for frizzy layoffs.

And so we’ve developed a great relationship with the NBA where they actually partner with our clients to bring the creators to some of the NBA events like Combine and the draft and all Star weekends.

We’ve had some of our creators commentate on some of the All-Star games and so we’re known. Space. If you want a basketball creator, at some point you’re coming to Long Haul.

And then we’re starting to do more other sports. And one of the things I’ve been really proud of is growing our female roster because now especially female basketball stars, I think I saw some NIl chart, over All Star weekend where I think it’s, football creators at the college level and then it’s women basketball players who are making the most amount of money.

And so , as a woman obviously, and wanna see other women succeed, love the fact that now there’s a lot of women who are coming out of college, who are playing a sport, who have grown their audience and are able to take advantage of that and, create really cool content related to basketball or related to soccer and, related to the sports that they love and show that women are strong and independent.

One of our clients, Jamad Fiin, is Muslim and wears a hijab when she plays and she’s ,been playing basketball in college and is getting a lot of attention now, and I’m so proud of all of our women creators for, showing that women can do what men can do and can make awesome content and, be so inspiring.

[00:32:46] Jessy: I wish I had a little I don’t know, I feel like I need a sound effect, yes. I love that man. I was like, do I ask you about what it is to work in a fairly male dominated industry? And I was like, fuck that. I don’t even wanna ask that question. I dunno. I saw you wanna say something. So I’m hesitant to ask that question cause tired of us. I’m like, no, like you’re doing incredible work. I almost wanna press the I believe button and just think that we don’t even have to ask that question anymore. 

However, I feel like you wanted to say something, so you do have to ask the question. What would you like to address with that topic?

[00:33:42] Chantal: So I’ll say I’m seeing more women in the rooms. Oftentimes now it still is, a bunch of guys on a Zoom cause it’s sports and it’s gaming and traditionally that is more of the male audience and the male execs making decisions.

What I’ve been really happy with is, seeing campaigns come in where they’re looking for basketball creators, and then I’m like, hey, have you considered female ones? We have great and it opens, the agency’s eyes oh yeah, maybe we should, add some more women to the campaign. Especially, from diverse backgrounds.

But I will say some of the things I’ve seen and I heard, when you’re looking for a job, women are like, can I do every single thing on this job description? Men are like, oh, I can do 60%. So I would be great at it.

So I think, having some kind of confidence to just know that your opinion is as valuable. The other guys in the room, and maybe more so because you’re coming at it from a different perspective, it might be considering things that the guys in the room aren’t even thinking about, is really helpful.

I know a lot of people have talked about negotiating, and I don’t know that’s a woman thing, but I think, being assertive and asking for what you want is so important in this industry. I don’t think I really negotiated a whole lot for myself, prior to this job and certainly not on behalf of other clients. 

Sometimes it’s still easier to say, oh, this person’s amazing. Of course they should be getting this rate for these deliverables. Or, let’s, see how we can figure out something else in the package to make sure that their value is noted and that they’re getting, the same amount of money for the value that they are creating, if not more.

And, knowing that you can start pushing and asking for more money. I think for, women, for men, it doesn’t matter. And, making sure that you’re just being assertive and having those asks out and showing that, yes, this person is worth this much money. 

And, I guess just, having the ask out, you’re not gonna know what you can get until you ask and then you negotiate.

[00:35:51] Jessy: A hundred percent. Are there any misconceptions about the type of talent that you work with? Basically, would you like to go on the record to correct, misconceptions that people believe about, gamers or people who work in sports and that type of talent? What would you like to let us know about? 

[00:36:14] Chantal: Sure. I don’t know if I know what people’s conceptions are, but I will say, some of our talent, who do IRL challenges and are out there doing stuff are the most creative people I’ve ever seen. Having to come up with concepts week in, week out to keep the content fresh to keep their fans engaged. It is a grind and they, are their own little CEOs and execs of their companies working across the board to coordinate the shoots.

As we all know, it is a full business and I think that’s why the influencer space is starting to see the value and get money paid out to these, influencers because they’re doing a heck of a lot of work to create amazing content.

So I think they’re creative. Oftentimes they’re really responsive. I wish , everyone on our roster is super responsive, but I think, gamers to some extent, there might be a conception that, people are in their basement or in their mom’s basement.

And, interestingly we have clients who do work in dark spaces quite a bit, but they’re grinding, they’re coming up with new content, they’re coming up with new ideas of what to talk about and what videos to put together. 

I think athletes in general are competitive and they are assertive sometimes because you have to be in that athletic space. And so it is interesting to see people. Start to see the value of collaboration. And I think especially as new influencers are growing their audiences and really taking time to see what other people are out there, collabs is an amazing way to grow your audience and to start working with other creators who are in this space.

And so we’ve seen a lot of successes. Individual content creators, have friendships and then start partnering with different creators. It just, boosts the value of everyone’s content cause everyone is learning from each other. 

[00:38:19] Jessy: That’s so interesting too. I love that idea that it sounds true and I believe you of course, that, athletes are very competitive. That’s a really interesting quality to like tap into like in terms of don’t you want your content to the best. And like it’s a very clearly defined personality traits. So that sounds like someone that I would definitely wanna work with. That’s so interesting. I love that perspective. That’s some really good insight. 

[00:38:47] Chantal: I’ll say something that, we continually coach our clients about sometimes at some point, there is definitely competition. This person’s getting these deals and this person’s getting these deals and to some degree I think we should be, looking at what is out there. 

But some of the things we, as talent managers are always looking at is at some point, it’s the brand and the agency’s choice. And so while we strongly pitch the clients that we think will do the best fit, oftentimes it is a certain talents, engagement rates or that the fans are definitely gonna be more inclined to you, follow this call to action than somebody else’s audience.

And so I think there is a continued focus coaching the clients on, listen, you need to create content that you are happy with, that you are passionate about, that you are proud putting out into the world and when people see you having fun and they see you, continually doing your thing and being the best that you can be, then, the fans will follow. 

But it is interesting, especially with so many creators in the same space , I’m sure people are wondering why different talent are getting it and it’s, being able to advocate for everyone is something that I’m continuously doing.

And, making sure that all of our clients are presented in the best light possible and, being able to divvy up the work as appropriate is something that we pride ourselves on. 

[00:40:26] Jessy: I love that. And so I think my last question for you today, and this conversation’s gone so quickly, it’s been really nice chatting with you is ,what would you say is your superpower as a business person as a woman, like as a mom, as a partner, like a friend, whatever it is. What would you say is your personal superpower?

[00:40:51] Chantal: Hopefully putting kindness first, and I would say also not getting ruffled. I remember I was sharing this the other day, one of my earliest managers said the word she would use to describe me is steady.

And I was a little bit offended at first. I was like, what is steady? But she goes, you never get ruffled. You’re so even keeled. You’re so reliable. I can trust you to get things done. And I think in this space, when there are a lot of egos or there can be egos both on, the brand side.

Don’t you know who we are? We could choose anyone. Sometimes, not all. Most of the brands that we work with are great, from the talent side too, kinda of being able to diplomatically say, here’s the situation we’re in, here’s the opportunities that we have, let’s work through it and then see the big picture and always keep in mind, here’s what our mission is, here’s what our goal is we’re here to support our clients. We’re here to support the campaigns that the brands want, and ultimately, we’re not curing children’s cancer, but we are doing our best to support our creators live an amazing life, and create the content that they wanna do, and support the brands and the messages that they wanna get out.

Clear communication and coming at it from a place of, support and kindness. Is hopefully my superpower.

[00:42:17] Jessy: I would definitely say that is your superpower and what a cool superpower to have. So with that being said, but we’re gonna pivot to some of our member questions cause we have members who are tuning in live to this recording.

In fact, we have a couple people who said hello. So Taylor’s tuning in and said… 

[00:42:40] Chantal: Hey thank you. 

[00:42:42] Jessy: And Stacy said hello. And Erica said, hi. Many people tuning in, which is always lovely to see. And we’re gonna start with one question, which is about discovering and assigning new talent. 

So do you guys have any specific strategies for when you are looking to build your roster?

[00:43:08] Chantal: Sure . It’s oftentimes easier to build from the strength that you have as opposed to starting in something new. So we’re not gonna be looking, for pure beauty creators, that’s not where our strength is.

But we do look at creators that are doing similar things to us that may compliment. So in the sports world, could certainly, be partnered with the vast number of brands and agencies that we’re working with now, but maybe new sports. 

So we just brought on our first soccer person. We’re, looking for more baseball content and other stuff like that. We also, are known for kind of the male audience. And so thinking about what other channels either doing sports analysis, so looking at what’s already working on our roster and where we can build from there. 

So are there more sports analysis channels that we should be looking at, perhaps bring on hockey if they’re getting the views that, are within the threshold that we can bring deals for. We also have some really talented film channels, film review channels, and so their fans are super engaged and so looking at how can we identify more channels in that realm.

So our strategy is work from both where are we seeing the demand and what are the brands and agencies that we work with that we think we can expand onto new creators? And then also looking at, what are our strengths from a talent standpoint, and then how can we compliment that, but still be in the same family.

[00:44:41] Jessy: I think that’s great advice. Similarly, the question is about like procuring more deals for your talent. What sort of like strategies or tips and tricks would you recommend in order to just drum up more business for talent that’s ,already signed to your roster?

[00:45:03] Chantal: Sure. We are in a very, I guess lucky and curated situation in that a lot of our business is incoming or is repeat business from the brands and agencies that we have relationships with. So we do get a lot of incoming inquiries and then once we secure a deal for the talent that they’re interested in, we always say, hey, have you considered these additional clients on our roster? Because we think they’d also be. Fit.

We are still evaluating and I’d, be interested to hear from others on the call or others later about what platforms they’re using, especially on the social side. We’re starting in the last few years to have more creators who are primarily on social as opposed to primarily on YouTube.

And so with Instagram and TikTok, those campaigns, we’re not seeing, the steady revenue that we do with some of the more basic direct response brands and deals on YouTube. And so always looking to connect with more agencies who are more focused on, the Instagram and TikTok and even Snapchat coming up soon.

So I think, one of the strategies that we continue to use is reaching back to the agencies that we’ve already done deals with, hey, what are you working on now? Or, hey, here’s, our new signings and just keeping those, relationships fresh every so often if we’re not already in constant contact with them.

[00:46:30] Jessy: Perfect. And our last question for today is a really great question. What advice would you give to somebody working in the talent management space if they are just starting out. 

[00:46:47] Chantal: Sure. So I would say really get a great sense of the content that people are working on. Spend time looking at trending pages to see what’s going on. Spend time, on the WIIM Facebook group, seeing how people are commenting and what questions they’re having, and try and get experience like digging in.

So I don’t know if the person would already be in a talent management position already but trying to always think about how you can add value. So give input to your clients when they’re submitting drafts. So hey this is great. Let’s get brand feedback. Additional thoughts I have on how you can make this more engaging are this, and this. 

I think, being able to coach your talent is, appreciated. Obviously you don’t want them doing extra work if the brand or agency is perfectly happy with their content, but showing that you really care about them as a person and then in addition, however you can help them elevate the content that they’re creating is always gonna be of value.

And then, continuing to see what agencies are doing. Sign up for newsletters. I get a bunch of new newsletters. It’s always interesting to see what agencies are working on what type of campaigns with what brands, so that if you have a talent that’s super interested in that brand, you can, perhaps reach out and start those relationships as well.

[00:48:10] Jessy: and can I put you on the spot and ask you like which newsletters you like? Cause I always love sharing that sort of information with people. 

[00:48:16] Chantal: I get Brand Innovators. I get, I think I get SEM fours newsletters. I am open to getting more. I wish I had more time to read them. I do look through the Wiim comments quite a bit. I wish I had more time again to comment on them, but I also enjoy listening to this podcast obviously. I went to college with Lauren Schniper and she and Josh Cohen from Tubefilter have a great interview that I know you were on too, the Creator upload.

[00:48:48] Jessy: You went to college with Lauren? Oh my God, she’s one of my favorite people on the planet. We interviewed her. I’ve been on her podcast and yeah, she is funny. She actually has like a background in comedy, which I didn’t even realize that. It makes total sense. She’s so smart. That’s so cool that you guys went to college. What school did you guys go to?

[00:49:11] Chantal: We went to George Washington University.

[00:49:13] Jessy: Very cool.

[00:49:15] Chantal: So we were on the same floor, on the same freshman dorm. And I will say it’s hilarious. I sometimes admit I listen to podcasts on a higher speed, but for her, I had to go back to regular speed cuz she talks so fast.

[00:49:29] Jessy: That’s so funny. That’s so funny, man. When you’re that smart, your brain just goes. She’s brilliant. I love like a big fan of hers. That’s it’s such a small world. So, In that spirit of it being a small world and connecting with people and making more connections, I’m sure that a lot of people who are watching or listening today, would love to get in touch with you to learn more about you, your company, your talent. So what’s the best way for them to get in touch?

[00:49:56] Chantal: Sure. Chantal@longhaulmgmt is my email. And then LinkedIn is also great. Instagram, I’m not really active on TikTok, although I enjoy looking and Instagram, I keep more family related than public. 

[00:50:15] Jessy: Perfect. So thank you so much for joining today.

It’s been so lovely like getting to know you more in your business and like congratulations on all of the success that you and your brother has had. It’s so cool to see our members joining in live, too, so I’ll bring up Emmy said hello, . 

[00:50:35] Chantal: Thank you. So thrilled for joining. Thank you again for having me and for this amazing opportunity and just the ability to be in this amazing, inspiring group of women.

[00:50:45] Jessy: You’re the best. We’re learning from you. Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge with us and for everyone listening or watching. We’ll see you guys next week. Thanks guys.

If you enjoyed this episode, we gotta have you back. Check out our website from 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.

Chantal Rotondo

Vice President, Business Development & Operations, LONG HAUL MANAGEMENT

Born near Boston, MA, went to DC for college and studied Marketing, Tourism and Event Management. Chantal worked in non-profit associations for almost 15 years, moved to Denver and worked remotely until she got laid off. She then pivoted to working in the creator economy, working for a merch company and now talent management at Long Haul Management. She’s a mom to 2 terrific kids, and Board member for her jewish congregation and local theater company.

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