The Price Of Premium Talent With Christina Jones Of Digital Brand Architects

Christina Jones is the Senior Vice President of Talent at Digital Brand Architects. In her role as SVP, Jones has led and built an additional management sector at DBA that continues to lead DBA's mission to amplify strong multi-hyphenated voices in the digital space. Jones began her career in the space eight years ago, quickly garnering wide acknowledgment and credibility for representing and building pathways for talent who push against traditional societal standards.



Jessy: Hey guys, what is going on? I am realizing that I really need to refresh these plants behind me, like the one on the top is so dead and the only reason the other two look alive is because they’re fake. They’re not real plants. Oh my God, please reach out if you can relate to that.

I never have had an issue with fake plants slash I appreciate fake plants because I have a black thumb. I just do not have a green thumb. I’ve never really been able to take care of plans like I care and then into it until I’m not. And then this happens. But Paul is really into plants and he’s like mad that this one ended up in my office because, It looks terrible.

And I had this like empty little spot right over here that I thought would look good on camera anyways, it like actually looks really sad and ridiculous. I need to replace that.

Anyways guys, thank you so much for tuning in, week over week over week. This episode is going to be really fab. We’ve got Christina Jones from DBA. Digital brand architects and I know so many of you guys tuning in are talent managers.

A huge portion of our membership. We’re all managers and God, we talk about, a lot of like taboos. We talk about ways that managers can work better with brands, work better with talent. Misconceptions. I asked her a lot of really hard questions and we really got into in this episode talking a lot about empathy.

Oh my goodness, if everybody could just empathize a little bit more with the other side, we wouldn’t have these like full on meltdown situations when something is late or some edit is needed or a pricing discussion where people just tend to take things personally. I respect so much of what she’s achieved, accomplished.

Her clients are doing unbelievable things and I am just super thrilled to have her on today. So before we get into that, oh my goodness, you guys, we are coming off of two incredible events. 

One was our job fair that we had mid-March, and I’m still getting in messages from you guys about how awesome it was, how people were hired from it.

What an incredible thing to do. We will definitely be having more of those, and in the meantime, you can always check out our job board. If you happen to miss that event, it’s iamwiim.com/jobs. Super easy URL of course. And we just came off of our best in Influencer tech event, which was on the 28th.

it was so good. We heard from Isaiah, from Mavrck, from Dash Hudson and from Magic Links, and oh my God, guys like the demos and everything that they’ve built and created and the tech that is now out there for you guys to implement in the work that you’re doing with influencer marketers is fab. 

I honestly feel like the people who are using this software, the expectations are getting higher and higher, and they’re asking for more, which I cosign, I think they should. And it’s really cool to see these companies really meeting the demand. So If you missed that event, unfortunately you missed a lot of the promotions that were offered during it.

That’s one of the benefits of tuning in live. But you can still check out the demos. Iamwiim.com/tech. Go check that out. And you’ll see some of the incredible products that were being offered and some of the tech that is now available to influencer marketers. 

So I wanted this week to give some credit to some of the people who have been so super generous in leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts. It helps us so much, you guys.

Like there are a lot of podcasts out there. We’ve had the show for like almost five years, and getting reviews on the show just really help get the show out there. Help whatever the Apple podcast algorithm is, it helps.

So I just wanted to give a huge thank you. Katherine Jeanine is one of the reviewers and she said she can’t stop listening. She recently started commuting into the office again. While the drive is a bit draining, the silver lining is podcast time. I’ve been a fan of the WIIM community and ethos for a long time, but I haven’t had the chance yet to tap into their podcast, and now I can’t stop listening. It’s a powerhouse of important, interesting, and relevant industry news that’s often delivered with a touch of humor, making it fun and informative companion for my morning commute. Kudos to Jessy for creating such a vital resource of our industry, I can’t wait to keep listening.

That was so nice of you to write. And I really really cannot express my appreciation more. We have a lot of other reviews that are on there, and I just appreciate every single one of them. So if you leave a review, I might call you out on the podcast and give you credit and just thank you personally for leaving it.

I don’t think you can leave reviews on Spotify. All I know is that most of our listeners are actually not on Spotify. They’re on Apple and Apple podcast. So if you would be so kind as to leave us a review and keep it honest if you think I am super lame, uninformed, tell me honestly, truthfully. 

Because I want, really wanna make the show just like better and better, every single week. But I probably will not read that one on the air, but if you also happen to leave a positive review yes, I will read that on the show. Just being honest.

So a little bit about our guest of the hour, Ms. Christina Jones. Digital Brand Architects. She’s the SVP of talent at DBA and in her role as SVP, she led and built an additional management sector at DBA that continues to lead their mission to amplify strong multihyphenate voices in the digital space.

In case you are living under a rock DBA is pioneering the management industry has been around for the longest time, and I would venture to say that of the top tier of influencer talent is represented by them. 

She began her career in the space, years ago. Quickly garnering wide acknowledgement and credibility for representing and building pathways for talent to push against traditional social standards. During her time at DBA her client’s careers have skyrocketed. 

In 2018, it was announced that her client, Patrick Starr, in partnership with digital brand products, secured a 10 million investment to begin his own makeup brand, ONE/SIZE beauty. 

In total, her management team has secured over 20 plus high value business opportunities with DBP, Digital Brand Products guarding multimillion dollars of revenue through these partnerships. 

Additionally, her clients, like Kiere Gaines and Jarius and Yasmine Maya, have been recognized by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, the White House. Good morning America, The Today Show, Michelle Obama and more for their advocacy around Black Rights LGBTQ and US citizenship.

Prior to DBA, her career started as a manager at the collectives Studio71 and later at 21 years old, she became one of the youngest agents in history when she was announced as an endorsement agent at APA, securing eight figures in partnerships during her tenure of four clients of the agency.

She’s also part of UTA’s acquisition of digital print architects in 2019. Feels like it was longer ago, but 2019 has grown from a director to a senior vice president of the company within four years of joining DBA. She’s based in LA. She also has a bachelor’s degree in talent production and a minor in digital strategic communications and film.

We also get into, her background in her own words, which is really fascinating to hear. Y’all, she graduated high school at 16. She started college at 16. It’s a pretty cool story. I know you’re gonna enjoy this episode. So without further ado, I’m welcoming you guys, Christina Jones. 

Christine, I’m super happy to have you on the show today. I’ve been like, following your journey for a while and just admiring your career. My background’s is in talent management, and I love seeing women who are like killing it in that area.

First and foremost, welcome and just congrats on all the cool shit , you’ve been working on for years at this point. How’s it going? 

Christina: I’m good. Thank you. First off, you’re too kind. But yeah, I’m good. I’m good. This has been the world I’ve been in for 10 years now, so it’s definitely one that I enjoy. Wouldn’t be in it this long if I didn’t love it. 

Jessy: A hundred percent. And we heard about you in the intro to the show. We can, look at your LinkedIn and, look at your Instagram, see about your career path, your awesome clients, things like that. But I always think it’s really refreshing to hear just in your own words, like how you ended up to where you are today and give us a little insight too, into, christina growing up.

I like hearing the story, I wanna picture you as a kid. What did you experience as a kid? What was your, family life like that led you to where you are today? I think one in definitely informs the other. So give us a little insight.

Christina: My origin story. So I grew up in Washington state, in a small town called Auburn, Washington. Unfortunately we’re best known, for the Green River Killer, which is the largest serial killer in the world. Lived in Auburn. So not the best, start, but it was a great town overall and, I am the youngest of three siblings. 

I have a half sister and, a brother and sister who are twins who are both older than me. And growing up with twins, I do not recommend it. I love my brother and sister of course, but it was definitely rough being the youngest under twins and really growing up.

I was more so always into academics. I was always into reading. I wasn’t very much into sports. That was really my brother and sister. My brother played hockey for nine, 10 years. My sister did gymnastics. I was very much the bookworm, in that way and really enjoyed school. 

For me, the right way of me saying was I never was, I don’t think the smartest or naturally gifted, but I loved learning and working towards that. So I ended up actually graduating high school two years early. Our city had a program called Running Start, where you could take, college classes at the local college, to fulfill high school credit. It was really to help, more people end up graduating or going on to have a college degree because our city had a little bit of an issue with that.

So I ended up utilizing that program and taking full-time high school and full-time college at the same time, which ended up allowing me to graduate earlier. When I say that, everyone thinks, oh wow, you must be so smart. It was really down to time management.

At the end of the day my classes were actually, I would say arguably, easier than, let’s say like an AP class or AP history or anything of that sort. I actually really got to take classes that I was interested in. So from like creative writing, to really learning the history of the Cold War and things of that sort.

So I thought it was an amazing program because I think in high school you hit this point of you’re taking these day-to-day credits. And of course, to an extent they’re important, but allowing me to be able to choose classes at the college that I was genuinely interested in, was a very cool experience and I think made it much easier to do, double the workload, in that capacity.

I went to Washington State University.

Jessy: What was that like? Were there any other 16 year olds in college? Were you the only one? Give us a peek into that. 

Christina: Yeah. No, there wasn’t. I was their youngest. Obviously there’s plenty more that have graduated and become doctors and things of that sort within, the US on those amazing stories. 

But really, it wasn’t weird to me because I’d always been very independent and so the idea of living alone, obviously there’s certain things I couldn’t do that other people that went to the school could do.

I never was able to go to a bar in college. If there was an over 18 event or things like that, I did graduate at 19, so I could, it definitely was a different experience than I think someone normally would’ve dealt with.

And for me, I really enjoyed it though I am definitely a people person and it was really awesome to have obviously classes that I was really interested in, but also the dynamic of connecting with, people that had the same interests as me.

So whether that was a certain class I was taking or I ended. Studying broadcast production, and news. And that was very interesting to me, is talking about important topics. And discussing them and having that action packed movement was really fun for me. And it allowed me to, because I was on their financial aid program, to be able to also really start working.

I worked in high school. I worked at a diner when I was 14 years old. I lied to them and told me them I was 16. So they would hire me. And then after three months they found out that I wasn’t. And then at that point they were like, okay, you’re staying, cuz it wasn’t illegal by any means, it was just they wanted someone who could drive to work.

But I, ended up figuring out the bus system and all that. So it was same in college. I ended up, doing a part-time job with the office of the dean of students and I just really enjoyed keeping things hyper organized and also seeing how we could build more into community programming and everything of that sort.

So I think that’s where it started. I think my first clients were all the people who worked at the dean of students in a way and keeping them organized and all set up because there was around 12 people that I was an assistant for.

So it was a really fun time. And then I graduated and, graduating is always scary and I thought I wanted to do, television and so I was in, school and we got very lucky that Top Chef Seattle was happening and coming to Seattle.

So it was great timing. And a alumni, Donnell Aquin, reached out to our professor and said, if there’s any students that are graduating and won a PA this summer, were coming to Seattle and, have ’em, send me their resumes and we’ll consider them. 

So I ended up getting on that show with quite a few of my, college friends and that was a great time, a crazy time for sure. And I ended up working on that show for about two years in different capacities, and really ended up moving towards the talent side of things. 

Again, it came down to I really liked organizing. I’m a people person and I guess to that other extent, I don’t get starstruck, by any means. So obviously we had amazing judges on the show and amazing guests, but I never got starstruck in that way.

I don’t know if that was my upbringing or what, and I think it helped in that sense that they could trust, I was only, again, like 20 at the time, but they could trust that the 20 year old isn’t gonna be, asking inappropriate questions or anything like that. 

So it was a great time. I think that the people who work on that sure are extremely hardworking. The friends that I worked on that show with some have gone on to being lead, camera operators on big movies, executive producers on Netflix shows. So everyone who worked on Top Chef I feel like went very far in their career because that team definitely instills in you that it takes hard work to get to where you wanna be.

Jessy: Yeah, I love that. What introduced you to talent representation in the first place? I was also in production. I think it’s interesting. And I guess like similarly, what introduced you to management in the first place and what made you know, perhaps that production wasn’t the right fit for you?

Christina: Yeah, so how I was introduced to it was in production. As you work for three, six months straight, and then you have a month or two off before another show. And so I was on hiatus and I looked at it and I said, you know what? I don’t want to do this.

I think I’m in the best position I can be in terms of my career production and where it’s going, but before I get down the line, I don’t think I wanna continue. So I bounced around a little bit from there. I took a non-paid job as a literary assistant, those kind of internships were, still allowed, thankfully they’re not anymore.

But, I took that and thought I wanted to be a comedy writer. Learned that I didn’t wanna be a comedy writer. Comedians, as you might know, are very, unhappy people as a whole. 

So didn’t continue on that journey. But then I saw a LinkedIn post for a company, a production company, that needed a production coordinator manager, and it was on the smaller side.

I said, you know what? This is 15 minutes away from my home, let me apply and see if it’s a fit. And ended up being a large YouTuber who had his own production company. And, I ended up working with them and the whole team, for about a year. 

And really what that showed me was how YouTube was endless, right? When I looked at YouTube back in 2013, I thought, what is this? At the end of the day, it’s just people talking to camera. There’s nothing to be hot here. It’s a fun hobby but it’s definitely not something I would do. And then seeing how much there was to be had there and that this person had, a team of six.

And was monetizing off of YouTube, was quite interesting to me cuz they were having a great time and we were having a great time. Really how I ended up switching over to management was, I really enjoyed the YouTube world, but the content that the creator was creating wasn’t a passion point for me.

It was very gaming focused and I didn’t play video games growing up. I didn’t know about them, so it wasn’t a big passion point. So my friend Matt Rob, who I believe is still at Smosh, suggested that I connect with his friend Amy Nevin, who’s obviously a partner at Select Management, because she was building out a beauty team at the collective or collective digital studio, which is now studio 71.

Talked with her, met with her and she gave me an assignment, to be considered for hiring her and the HR rep, Solomon. And they sent over five different talent names and one was actually Patrick Starr and they wanted a, like one sheet of what I could see of the career as one of the talent, and what pathways they could go down.

And I chose Patrick and I ended up doing a whole presentation, around him and how amazing he was and all the avenues we could go with him and then I was hired and from there, I mean they had my actually colleague at DBA now, but Karen Naroski, she actually found Manny and Patrick and a lot of people, not Amy in particular, but a lot of outside people at CDS were hesitant of working with them.

And she was like, no, there’s something beautiful here. We have to sign them, like we have to work with them. So my first two signs weren’t signed by me. And it was really a get to know each other and deciding, they had to decide if they wanted to work with me out of, all the other managers at CDS at the time.

Jessy: And so I think that’s a great segue because I would love to learn a little bit about your insight, having seen so much talent over the years. Like you started where you started and it’s a great couple talent to start with, but like over the years, I’m sure, lots of different influencers have approached you and said it would be a dream to work with you. I would love for you to be able to help me with my career the same way that I’ve seen you helped other influencers with their career.

So my question is like, how do you decide on the talent that you represent? How do you identify the type of talent that you wanna represent? represent What do you look for?

Christina: Yeah, and the thing with Patrick and Manny actually is at the time, no one wanted to work with them. I think that’s a common misconception is that when I started working with them, they had just started their YouTube channels maybe two or three months prior.

And they would say the same thing, the same talent who were white female would get paid two times the amount they were paid, even though their views were higher, right?

Because there was through men in makeup will they really convert like a female in makeup. And they did, and they converted better. But it was definitely an uphill battle, for sure that me and them will never forget. 

I’m very thankful that through their, obstacles and leading that charge now there is many men in makeup at the end of the day that feel comfortable at being their true selves and I think that’s very special.

But when it comes to representing talent and what I look for, it’s really down to two things is do I see a business there and will I be passionate about that business, right? Because there’s plenty of businesses out there that are wildly successful that I’m not passionate about.

So those are the two things that I think any manager and talent should look for in a manager is what do you see my business being? Are we aligned there and are you passionate about me? 

Because for me, very much management is a partnership. I don’t think it should be manager bossing talent around. I think at the end of the day talent are the CEO of their own business, and they need to know that we work for them. And knowing that it’s a partnership where I’m gonna tell you my thoughts and opinions on things, but at the end of the day, it’s your choice. 

Jessy: Well It’s also based on a ton of trust and, building that relationship up to the point where, this person considers you certainly part of their team and in many instances, like it feels like family.

It’s almost more complicated than being either one of those independently because it’s in a lot of instances, crosses into both of those territories simultaneously. You hear people say oh my gosh, it’s so difficult to, perhaps work with family or work with a spouse.

And of course you’re not any of those things, but it feels very personal in a lot of instances. I hear a lot of other managers say for example, that sometimes I feel like the therapist, but I’m also like guiding them on their career and things like that. So how do you feel like you best retain your talent if, it sounds like you’ve worked with many of them for many years now. what do you focus on? 

Christina: Transparency. I think that’s so key and at DBA we are very lucky that a lot of, managers come from starting as an assistant and then a coordinator and then become a manager here, the number one thing I see is people are afraid to be honest, right? 

Again, it’s a partnership and I think I would not retain the clients I’ve retained and then not continue to have the successful careers they have and continue to build up if I was just a yes person.

And I do think it’s a careful balance. Obviously what they are doing is extremely vulnerable at the end of the day, I don’t have, the confidence to do that. I am very much a private person as a whole, so I would never post my life online or personal moments or anything of that sort. So I do have, hats off to them for having that courage.

But if you’re just a yes person in your talent’s life, then you’re not helping them excel. You’re not helping them see other areas where they might need growth or might need to work on.

And I do see that quite a bit is that you just are afraid of losing them. So you just say all these, nice things and you don’t provide any constructive feedback, of that sort. Or see let them see the other eye to things on how they can be a good partner to a brand or creating their own brand or anything of that sort.

So that’s what I would say. I would say that’s the most important thing on retaining clients is transparency, because you’re only trying to help, you’re not there to be their demise. You’re trying to help them. 

Jessy: I can imagine that it’s very much a two-way street. How do you retain clients to have them keep working with you. I can imagine It’s also like you wanna be selective about who you work with in order for a million different reasons.

So conversely, how does a client retain you? Like what can they do to continue to make themselves a client that you’re excited to work for every day you’re excited to, promote each day? What can they do? 

Christina: I think be a partner in this at the end of the day, I thought that is key. That if I’m providing strategy, if I’m providing guidance and advisement and they’re not taking it at all, then what are we doing here?

So that is my biggest thing because don’t know all the answers something strategy wise that I give might not work right most of the time, not from what it has, but that’s because I have a more outside point of view than my client, who’s literally, in it day to day.

But it’s definitely, I want the work ethic to be replicated that I’m doing right. I shouldn’t be working harder for your dreams than you are at the end of the day cuz it’s your dreams. If I see someone not working hard for something, it does demotivate me. Cuz what are we doing here? If you’re not passionate about this. 

Jessy: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve said to a lot of influencers before to your point, it’s very much a partnership, but it’s sort of like everyone is working on their best and brightest and then coming together, like how much more powerful is that partnership when like you are going out there and killing the creative and just doing incredible things in terms of your engagement just all of that. And then you come in and, you’re bringing partnerships and you’re negotiating deals and things like that. And if everyone is just working at 110%, you’ve got 220%, on your team, which is a really powerful thing.

I would love to talk about just the industry broadly with you. I’m very much speaking for me personally. I don’t wanna put words in your mouth. I’d love to hear your opinion. 

I feel as if influencer marketing isn’t quite where I would have wanted it to be, if you spoke to me 10 years ago, if you were like, in 10 years, where do you see influencer marketing? I would have hoped that it would’ve been more progressed than it is currently. I’m feeling a bit frustrated with, we’re still struggling with a variety of different things and I attribute a lot of it to like breakdowns and communication and people not taking risks, enough people not having high enough expectations. Egos, I can go on and on.

My question to you, you might think totally differently of course, that’s what I wanna get into, what are some issues that you see in the industry, but as a solutions driven show, what do you see as ways that we could improve those issues so we can all just do better?

Christina: That’s loaded question. And I agree with a lot of your points. I would say the thing that has always frustrated me the most is, if you look at old fashioned marketing at the end of the day with magazines, with tv, with billboards, with in-person events, everything that sort with celebrities, no one was doing ROI right in that way. And I think it’s a careful conversation, which I’ll get to the later half cause I know ROI is important.

But no one could tangibly say when you saw Keira Knightley on a Dior ad, she sold $200,000 worth of this Dior perfume. You just can’t, you can’t say Jennifer Lawrence has sold, X amount of, Dior perfume either. Obviously they’re immensely talented actresses, right? And the association with them has continued to help Dior’s image and then vice versa, obviously for them helped their image.

And with marketing, I think we too many times look so quickly at how much this creator convert, right? And as a shopper, I know I don’t immediately buy things that are recommended to me. 

I will be like, oh, that Ole Hendrickson Banana, bright Cream is interesting to me. I’ve seen great reviews about it from people I really enjoy watching. Let me look on Sephora and lemme look at the customer reviews now. Okay, reviews look good here. I’m really enjoying it. 

Let me check and make sure that it doesn’t have this ingredient that could be sensitive to my skin. Okay, it doesn’t. Okay, perfect. Next time I’m in a Sephora I’ll go purchase that. Right? 

There was no immediate sale, but the person who made me think about that first was the person that I watched on TikTok or YouTube or Instagram, and I think people get too granular with it in that way, and it’s been an issue forever. I’ve been speaking on this issue for six plus years now, in that way.

And I think if you’re only solely looking at conversion, you’re gonna miss out on a lot, of opportunity and what your brand identity is, right? And what your brand stands for and everything of that sort. Because if you’re only focused on this person sold X amount of product, it’s not foolproof in that way.

So that’s something I really wish people would see, that I think a lot of people miss, unfortunately. And it’s a careful balance, right? I think at the end of the day, especially with smaller brands or marketing agencies representing brands who really need to sell through, I get it. 

I get it that there has to be a balance or can’t be a situation. You might see the sale, you might not immediately. I understand that. So it’s a balance because right now consumers are smart. They wanna purchase from brands who have a strong brand identity, who they support and they recognize. I think, being a part of ONE/SIZE with Patrick, that has been our goal from day one is brand identity.

What do we represent? Who do we represent? Who do we wanna make sure are heard through this brand? And through that, people who at the end of the day have always had brands available to them like myself and being able to walk in the door and be able to purchase anything I’ve wanted, I wanna support that brand because that is something that is very important to my heart to be an ally towards and to make sure that I’m supporting brands who are prioritizing, making everyone feel like they should fit in.

Jessy: Yeah. I use this term loosely arguments that you feel like you’re having a lot, that you’re like, I can’t believe I’m having this conversation again. You obviously are so passionate about your talent, the ones that you represent, we talked about before there’s a lot of criteria that goes along with who you wanna align yourself with and the amount of work that goes into managing a talent is endless. And, I wish we had enough time on this show for us to go into, like, all right, Christina, walk us through a day in the life of Christina Jones because we wouldn’t have time for it because I’m sure that there’s just so much nuance and passion and like heart that goes into it.

And so you believe in your talent. Okay. Absolutely believe that. So when people wanna work with your talent, who’s some of the most, well-known talent in the world on social media, what are some of the conversations that you’re having with these people that you’re like, I can’t believe I’m still having this conversation. Why am I still making this argument? Can we just move beyond that? Walk us through some of those. 

Christina: I think this is an industry thing, and I think marketing agencies would agree to this, we don’t have any sort of standardization. There’s no way to standardize this world.

And it’s really frustrating because, for example, one of my clients could be very busy. And so even though they have the same engagement as another client, their rate might be higher because they have an immense amount of work to be doing, and they have to be more selective, than maybe my other client who process isn’t really focused on brand work day to day. So when we do, brand work, maybe we are a little bit more flexible with rates or, a little bit more quote unquote affordable.

So that’s I think the frustrating thing because you’ll get from a marketing agency or from a brand like, oh, I am working with a talent who has 5 million followers and I got them for $10,000. And I’m like, congratulations. That’s awesome for you. 

That doesn’t mean that my client’s rate changes. And also I hurt for that talent who you just basically admitted that you are taking advantage of potentially. Again, I don’t know the background there, it could not be.

But that’s the most frustrating thing is that, it’s so important now more than ever, that managers are allies in this conversation so that no one gets taken advantage of and talents don’t get taken advantage of because, if we all succeed then we all continue to succeed, right?

If our talent are at the same level and same rates, we continue to succeed, versus they’re like, oh, I can go to this management company and get talent for, a more affordable rate or cheaper, right?

And it’s just because maybe they’re not aware that they’re actually spending these budgets and that they shouldn’t have to feel, that they’re gonna lose the deal if they don’t go a little bit harder on making sure that their talent get that full rate.

Jessy: No, absolutely. And we’re talking about negotiations, right? And like everybody is gonna negotiate differently and those relationships are also nuanced. And so I’d be curious, like do you have a certain approach to that? Does DBA A have a certain approach to that?

Where, when it comes to, I guess you brought up pricing, like when it comes to pricing is there a range? Do you feel like you maybe don’t need to explain the why? Or do you intentionally explain the why? What is your approach and, what advice would you give to managers who are trying to navigate that exact same conversation?

Christina: I would definitely say give the why we’re all people here at the end of the day trying to do a job. And if you’re just that’s the rate and good luck, that’s not collaborative, we’re all gonna work together again. You want the best experience for them. They want the best experience for you. They wanna continue working together. 

Rate wise it does range. And I think it comes from, obviously size plays into a factor. Conversion plays into a factor. How busy they are plays into a factor. 

So they definitely range across the board with, speaking to our clients about it and where everyone’s comfortable going. On the other side of it, in terms of what I would recommend for managers is just know what the brand’s wanting, right? Or the marketing agency’s needing. 

At the end of the day, again, this is a people business. Just get on the phone, say, what are you really needing? Because my talent might not make sense for that, right?

And I’d rather have a long form business with you that continues on, that might not make sense for anyone on my personal roster. But there are three clients at DBA who fit what you’re needing perfectly, right?

You know, let’s connect you with those managers. Let’s connect you with our brand partnerships team so that they can help you figure that out, because we want our brand friendlies to be happy at them. They continue to work with us. And if we over almost under deliver, then no one wins. 

Jessy: I would love to just dig into a little bit of what you just mentioned, because I remember when I was managing talent, I don’t anymore, but when I was like, that was like a sensitive subject.

I’ll just speak for my business. Like I used to represent influencers who I would describe them as similar, but not competing with each other. 

Christina: Yeah.

Jessy: Because if I got in an inquiry for partnership, I could theoretically put multiple people on a partnership and they could all be perfect for it. They’re not competing for each other, but they’re in the same lane.

And I think that While that makes sense as a business person, I know when feelings are involved, influencers could feel as if basically, why am I not getting picked? Or why is he or she getting picked? And how do you navigate that when a brand might have multiple spots open and essentially there is a component where it could feel competitive.

And that’s something that I know a lot of managers deal with, like trying to manage multiple talent on their roster and navigate the opportunities amongst them all. Do you have any tips or advice in terms of like, how do you decide who to pitch, how to pitch and just like how to navigate that sensitive situation?

Christina: Yeah, the The biggest thing there is making sure that your talent do have differentiators. If you’re representing just the same people, and I know you’re saying like they’re complimentary, but if you’re representing the exact same person, you have no differentiators, then why do you need the same person on your roster?

And so I think, what’s so special with our brand partnerships team and just how I think we pitch as a whole and we’re really passionate about is what truly differentiates your talent from someone who is similar, right? They might still not get the deal at the end of the day.

But everyone is different and that element I think for us, like my client, Yasmin Maya for example, she’s an incredible Latina beauty influencer, now more family oriented cuz she has two children, which is crazy. I’ve been working with her since she, before she had children.

But at the end of the day she did voice that at one point. What makes me different comparative to another, beauty influencer on the scene. She at one point wanted to do speech therapy because she was like, oh, maybe I’m too Latina for the world and the branding world and the marketing and, I heavily voiced against it and she didn’t continue with it.

And I think it’s a beautiful story of now she is such an inspiration to so many of her followers, but just the community as a whole and being open on that story.

That’s a big differentiator right there, comparative to another amazing Latina beauty influencer that exists in the marketplace and has her own special story.

So it’s really what story does the brand want to align with? What creative does the brand wanna align with? And that’s the creator that’s gonna make sense for that program. 

Jessy: I appreciate that. I think, so what I’m hearing you say is leaning into all of the nuances and all of the distinctions between them all and you’re not in the camp that like, you don’t wanna represent super similar talent. It doesn’t sound like that’s your preference and being able to articulate the differences between them all. 

Christina: Yeah. The great example’s Manny and Patrick, right? I started representing them both at the same time and on a very macro scale. They’re both men in makeup, they are beauty influencers, men in makeup, right?

But let’s dig down deeper. Patrick is heavily education focused. He very much loves putting on makeup on other people. He loves the education aspect. That is his passion.

Manny’s passion is product. He loves reviewing product. He loves testing product. Of course he is extremely talented at putting makeup on others and obviously on himself. But he isn’t as education focused versus he’s more about to an extent the fun of it all the fun of makeup in that way.

And so yes, they are two men in makeup, but they are vastly different humans. And I think that’s where, on the marketing side, people need to understand that. But also if you’re managing, you need to understand that and be able to position talent differently because they are different humans, even if they’re in the same world technically, or on a macro scale, get defined the same way.

Jessy: I feel like it’s like speaking to, your kids, right? If you have multiple children and one gets a little like envious of the, why are you spending a little bit more time with my brother and my sister? And it’s we love you in different ways. Like we love you for each of you and like how you are individually.

And there’s only so much energy to go around in the world. And so if all your energy is focused on looking left and looking right and comparing yourself and things like that energy perhaps could be better spent doing other things that could be more productive for your business, more healthy for, you as a human being. So I appreciate that answer. 

I think it makes a lot of sense for sure. We certainly get some influencers who listen to the show. A lot of them are, a little peak behind the scenes. So they can learn more. You’re talking about education, like they can just learn more about how they can be better, where there are more opportunities and, you have been able to, capture so many different, like types of revenue streams, transparently.

I think you’ve been at the forefront of inventing revenue streams for certain influencers that you work with and certainly being privy to it at DBA.

I think it would be so interesting for us to hear like, where do you see that there are growth opportunities these days? Because I wonder if some that you’ve been a part of, are they still as, available as they used to be?

So like what are some of the growth opportunities these days that you think influencers should keep in mind and perhaps pursued depending on their businesses? 

Christina: I think It’s individualized for each person, but I would say in-person events. I think we had a big spurt of it back in the day with, those meet and greet events and things of that sort.

And they had their place and their time, but more so events that are focused around some sort of learning or some sort of, heavily on entertainment.

I think live podcasting is very interesting and something that I know with full coverage, we’re looking into, with educational events. My client Kier Gaines, he’s an incredible licensed therapist and he held an amazing conference last year, around male mental health that sold extremely well. Ticket sales work great. 

And it was an amazing event that he felt very passionate about and the people who attended still do, but felt very passionate about and really enjoyed.

So those types of events where you’re getting something out of it, I think it’s very special. I think we’re all in a phase, the internet’s in the phase of a life of taking care of yourself and enjoying yourself and taking a moment offline and those in-person events allow that.

Jessy: I love that so much. I hope you’re right because sometimes I think it’s important for us to take off all our professional hats, like our influencer marketer hats and just be like a consumer. It’s what would you enjoy? And like I love the educational stuff. I love continuing to feel as if I’m like growing as a human and learning new things. And I also think, obviously coming out of the pandemic, it’s a really special thing to just experience something as a community of people, of like-minded people and the influencers at the forefront of making that happen.

Of course. Cuz they’re bringing all of those people together. So to be able to take it up a notch and, have a slightly different approach. Let’s take this offline, let’s come together as a community. How cool is that? 

I can imagine from a business perspective, cuz your job is, I don’t wanna put words in your house, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you have to, approach all of these things as like, where the business opportunities, ticket sales, merch sales upselling things later, from gathering people into one room. Sponsorship sales. The marketing for that event. 

There’s so many opportunities to, sell all sorts of things. Services and businesses and products, gift bags. The list goes on and on, but depending on the breadth of the event, I can also imagine that would be, could be incredibly time consuming and like a pretty big undertaking.

But I love what you’re saying about even just doing like a live podcast recording if they have a podcast. So it could be really wise of them to maybe start small test and learn, see how it goes, and see if there’s an appetite for more once they once they start with that, right?

I would love to also learn, how does an influencer know which additional revenue stream to pursue for themselves? We covered that, but I think I would love to get as specific as possible. 

So we’re talking about in-person events. Awesome. Is there a way to test the waters before to know is there an appetite for that or a product or like a membership and things like that. Are there tips that you can give to creators or other managers who are guiding them to like how to test and see if this is a viable idea worth pursuing?

Christina: We’re all about testing here at DBA. That’s really important to us because at the end of the day, we don’t want our clients putting time and resources into something that, if we did a small test, which show maybe doesn’t work, maybe their audience isn’t interested. And you know this, maybe if our client is oh, I wanna start a coffee company, but they’ve never talked about coffee.

And then, we do a few content, moments around coffee and the audience isn’t biting. It’s do you really wanna go headfirst into a company that it doesn’t seem that your main consumer that you’re gonna try to bring into this company is gonna want? 

So I think starting small enough with your previous note is the most important thing. Going headfirst into something, especially that takes up so much of your time, your energy, possibly your money.

Time is money, it’s a lot to think about, right? Outside of the day-to-day that you have to keep doing, you can’t stop this day-to-day work that keeps going every day, you’re just adding something additional in a very, metaphorical way.

It’s that at the end of the day, I work every day but if I want to start working out, that’s gonna be a new additional thing that I’m gonna have to put time and energy into and find time to fit it in.

And so with testing from, instead of immediately creating your own brand, doing a co-brand seeing, oh, my audience was interested and my, skincare routine or even down to just seeing by using links and seeing if, okay, my audience is interesting in the clothing I wear, my audience is interested in, my workout, clothes. I’m getting super high conversion on Amazon and all my recommendations, maybe I can do it myself because there’s a few things I don’t like about these workout clothes that I wish I could change.

Jessy: And like, how do they invest in those places, because what comes to mind is, perhaps it’s an influencer who’s doing really well, like maybe they just don’t have money to hire someone to produce X, Y, Z, for them.

Or to, start testing a product line. Is there anything that I’m missing what advice would you give to those people who don’t necessarily have the capital, but they do see a lot of potential there? Like what about those people? is there anything that they can do?

Christina: You have to money to build a business, money has to come from somewhere. So I don’t want to put this pipe dream in people’s eyes, it’s possibility without any dollars.

But, at the end of the day, you can start smaller. And you can start with the tribe around you. And maybe it is that you are creating your own workout line and you can’t put any paid marketing behind it.

You can only do, two skews and it’s very small. And you have your friend support who end up posting about it organically and talking about it organically. There’s that side of it. 

I think there’s a whole other avenue that a lot of creators haven’t explored is working with someone who knows what they’re doing or actually even has their own line and are looking for another partner at this point to bring it on because they’re more behind the scenes in that way.

And if they love that brand and they love the products that they’re creating and the conversation that they’re having, there could be a potential to create, either be a partner in that brand or create a co-brand or a sub-brand underneath that brand. 

So I think that’s the other side of it, that a lot of creators don’t think about is, yes is it amazing to have your own name on everything? A hundred percent. 

But most companies that continue to be profitable have a partner, right? I think you see it with talent who have millions and millions of followers. Rare beauty has a partner, right? The Good America, Good American with Khloe Kardashian has a partner involved in it. And they are more behind the scenes in that way. 

So looking at the grand scale and then bringing it down to the, the more developmental scale is, do you have people in your corner or can you meet people, network with people who have the same passion as you? And that, idea to put it together and you have something to give to that business and to help that business grow in a way that the partnership would work.

Jessy: That’s such a fresh perspective. I love that. I love that. That’s such a good answer. I certainly did not think of that at all, but you’re totally right. No business is perfect. No business has everything that they need. And so if you could be a piece of that puzzle, then it’s like a win-win on all sides.

And like it could also be the right type of opportunity for where you’re at, where you don’t necessarily have to commit to a hundred percent of the business. Maybe it’s 50 50, but like maybe it’s 25 75 and that’s perfect because that’s the amount of bandwidth that you have available and that’s what they need.

And it’s probably less of these percentages and contributions and it’s more of is it the right fit? Because if it’s the right fit, that could be, so powerful and could amplify everybody . So I love that. That’s really great advice.

What trends have you been seeing lately? And I wanna leave it open-ended because I just wanna hear just broadly what trends you’re seeing and, how do you feel about those trends? Do you think that they’re short-lived or do you think that they’ll like, continue people are onto something?

Christina: Attention spans, I know that’s not exactly the right word for trend, but attention spans are so short now. So I do think that’s a trend we’re gonna continue to see. It’s gonna go faster and faster, in that sense because everything’s so immediate. I think in terms of trends that I’m seeing really heavily in finance, which I think is awesome.

I would say finance and food are the two trends that I’m seeing continue to grow. But in terms of platform wise, I always say when I’m talking to brands, TikTok, and even Instagram reels to extent, but I would heavily say TikTok to me without going live, or, doing any of those types of features. TikTok reminds me of QVC, right? 

Purchase it now cause it might get sold out. You gotta buy it like it’s buy quick regret later type of thing. I didn’t really need those, five extra, chairs, but they were like such a good deal and they looked beautiful in this person’s house. So you buy it because it’s the biggest dupe, it’s the Amazon dupe of X brand, right?

At the end of the day, while YouTube to me, is more so you’re talking to your best friend. Obviously it’s to an extent one-sided, but it reminds me of when you’re out to lunch with a friend and they put on a lip gloss and you’re like, oh my gosh, it’s gorgeous. Where’s it from? And they’re like, oh, it’s from ONE/SIZE. It’s their lip smacker product and I love it.

And it’s that recommendation where you’re like, oh, okay. I should probably get that next time I go. And it almost creates this returning customer feel. I’m not saying that TikTok can, I need plenty of products on TikTok can, but the experience and vibe is a bit different.

Jessy: Totally I think that’s really insightful. If you weren’t a talent manager and , the universe brought you down a different path. What do you think that you would be if you weren’t. 

Christina: So realistically? I think I would probably work in some sort of capacity with a foundation or a nonprofit I really enjoy and with the talent I work with too, trying to do something that is making the world a better place, which is a careful conversation with digital marketing cuz to an extent or selling stuff people don’t need exactly, but the voices and talent that I work with are representing such important, conversations and breaking so many stereotypes that I really do think they’re making the world a better place and a more accepting place.

The other side of it is a running joke, at DBA that we all have, is that if we weren’t doing this in an alternate universe, we’d all own a coffee shop or like a restaurant of some sort, because we all are people, persons love people around us to an extent. it’s definitely a running joke in the office that if for some reason the world changed tomorrow, we’d all end up owning our little mom and pop coffee shop in a cute little town, very hallmark, moment of it all.

Jessy: I love that. So maybe in a few years, maybe there will be a DBA coffee shop, maybe that’ll be.

Christina: We should, yeah, we should look at that. 

Jessy: People would come and it would be the perfect place for, while you work and everyone could do meet and greets with like their favorite influencers.

And just you’d come out with your own coffee line and be like, DBA really can do it all. 

Christina: Make sure to flag it that you came up with this idea here. 

Jessy: I’ll say you heard it first. Here, it’s literally out in the universe recorded. I will take all the credit, but be your first customer too.

I’m gonna ask one more question. I think people are curious like are there any misconceptions about DBA that you would like to clarify? What would you say are some of the misconceptions that you wanna go on the record and say this is not true. And in fact like write the record. 

Christina: Yeah. I can only speak from my personal experience. I’ll say that first off, but when I was looking at coming to DBA people who had never stepped foot in DBA and never had, really met anyone, there was like, oh, it’s all girls. It must be like a terrible work environment.

And getting there I remember, and I always tell this story, Hillary Williams, who’s incredible, she’s a partner, here at DBA, but at the time I was coming in as vice president of talent and she had just been promoted, I think the past year to vice president of talent. She had been there for five years, built incredible roster, had really shepherded a lot of amazing managers that are still here today, and mentored them.

And I was like, she’s going to hate me. I’m gonna come in and she’s gonna know, what is this girl doing here? I’ve put in my time and we have the same title. And I can’t tell you, it was more than the opposite than I could ever expect. 

I met her and she immediately just threw her hands up in the air and was like, oh my God Christina, I’m so excited to be working with you. Whatever you need, let me introduce you to everyone. Everyone this is Christina. She’s amazing. 

Was so caring in that way, and I feel that we work in that element of making sure that everyone has opportunity to be as successful as they can be. And really I think we’re very much hype girls in that sense and in that way that we just want everyone to win.

And it’s shown and I think we’ve done an incredible job with people who went from assistance to now, VPs of talent here at DBA or partners or anything of that sort that we really want people to win at the end of the day. And I have felt extremely supported at this company.

Jessy: That’s really awesome to hear. And I think like conversely, are there any perceptions that people like DBA is this, and you’re like, hell yeah, we’re that and it’s for a reason. Is there anything that comes to mind in that regard?

Christina: The one thing I heard sometimes that actually I can say for sure that this has happened before because our, head of brand partnerships came from a marketing agency Naia Gabrielle, she’s incredible. And she was like, what was the conception of DBA prior? 

And she was like, that, you guys are expensive. But the talent are expensive, that that you guys stick to your guns, that you don’t back off. And I’m actually really proud of that. Not in the sense that I think we overprice our talent by any means, but we are premium and we look at our clients like they’re premium and they are premium at the end of the day, and we want to get the best deal for our talent.

Not that we don’t work well with brands and agencies. And again, off of my earlier note, What does the branding agency actually need so that we can properly put that together. But I think we don’t get pushed around a lot, and I think that’s really important as a representative to not get pushed around a lot and to feel small.

And we don’t feel small. We’re not small. And we take pride in that, that everyone here at DBA deserves to have a voice and doesn’t deserve to be shut down or put into a, corner and saying, oh, you’re not running your business right. Or anything of that sort because we all run our different businesses slightly differently, as managers, but we at the end of the day all align on, certain rates or values or, focuses at the end of the day.

And I think that’s why we’ve continued to have such incredible businesses with our talent and brands and marketing agencies continuing to return and talk to our brand partnerships team about, activities that they have going for Q2, Q3, Q4 that they want our talent a part of, because we really do curate an amazing campaign, for both the talent to enjoy and for brands to really see the success from and the way that they wanted it.

Jessy: For what it’s worth, I think that one of the best things in my eyes that you guys have done over the years is like simply just curated some of the, like the top undeniably talented influencers. 

And I think that’s like incredibly respectable. If they just want to work with top quality talent, like people just always think of you guys and I think that’s a really powerful thing and something to be super proud of. So yeah, I would assume that yields, a lot, maybe premium amount of money and to your point, like rightfully so. 

Christina: I just wanna say this is that in only in our industry do we have, I feel like those situations that happen, especially towards women, where it is trying to make you feel smaller then, and I experienced that in many times in the past, positions, at other companies to feel smaller and less intelligent.

Whether that’s because I am female or because I was younger, and not to say that someone who’s been in industry longer doesn’t obviously have more history and more background to things. I think that’d be naive to ignore.

If you are looking for a new car or a house. And it’s a million dollar house. And then you say, okay, I only have a bank loan for $200,000. The realtor’s gonna say, okay, then we’re not gonna be looking at the million dollar houses, we’re gonna look at the $200,000 houses because that’s what makes sense for your budget and your goals and everything of that sort.

Only in our industry do we have situations where it’s all of a sudden oh, actually, for the million dollar home I only wanna spend $200,000. And it’s that doesn’t work. We have to make things work within the parameters that you’ve given. 

Jessy: A thousand percent. I’ve been a manager myself as well, and like you, just wanna do right by your client. At the end of the day. It’s like very easy to jump all over the manager for sure. And be like, ah, like they’re just, fill in the blank. But the reality is like if the rules were reversed and you cared about your job and your talent, like you’d probably be doing exactly the same thing.

You’re trying to, do… 

Christina: You’re trying to get the best deal for your client. Yeah. 

Jessy: You’re trying to do the same thing for the other side. Like of course it’s like a no-brainer, let’s just be real about the situation. But I think that the biggest takeaway perhaps for me, is you can always just say to your point, like it’s just not in the realm my budget. It’s just not in my budget. I’m just gonna go in another direction. Thank you. But no, thank you. 

And I think that people are way too salty about that stuff. Like to me, it, it screams like a lack of respect, which sort of bothers me fundamentally to be honest cuz I’ve been on the receiving end of that, right? Like when you just, quote something that you believe in, you think it’s justifiable or else you wouldn’t quote it in the first place and then somebody like doubts you. I appreciate that you’re, bringing up the fact that perhaps there’s a gender slant to it.

I personally a agree in many instances that, it certainly feels like that, because, if it were different and the genders were reversed, would you be feeling as if you’re being too aggressive, too assertive, too X, Y, Z, fill in the blank?

Or would you just think of it as oh, it’s pretty factual. And why do I even have to explain it in all of these things. So its a really interesting conversation, I think to have. So that’s why I wanted to like, chat through with you a little bit 

Christina: Agreed. I think at the end of the day, worst case scenario doesn’t work out. I guess the other thing I would say to managers is to make sure not to, just to have a range within your rates. Don’t be that person who, because it’s P&G you’re gonna charge an extra $15,000 or something, of that sort. Obviously in certain circumstances, if it’s a small business that your client’s passionate about, they might be more flexible on the rate because they want this business to succeed and they really believe in it.

But don’t be that person because people move positions, right? And the last thing you want is if you’re working with, the amazing Marina Martin and someone ends up taking a position at Alice Broad and that amazing team there to then say we were getting them for, the same brand and the same deal for $10,000 less and we were being quoted less, why are you guys being quoted more?

That doesn’t look good on anyone. And again, this is a people business, so just be a person. At the end of the day, we’re all humans behind these computer screens. so definitely agree with you there.

Jessy: I just don’t think it’s smart to like outprice someone, or just basically quote them something astronomical because like even if they do agree to it, if they just don’t see the value for what they’re paying at the end of the partnership, It’s pointless. Cuz I just feel like the ideal is that you would partner with people on a long-term basis. And it just makes sense all the way around. So maybe it’s like a one-time hit, but like after that they’re probably not gonna work with you again because they just didn’t see the ROI on it.

And the thing is also, and this is something in business that I sell people all the time, and I feel like it translates a hundred percent to quoting of what an influencer costs, people are like, oh, is it expensive or inexpensive? 

And I’m like, maybe I’m weird, but I don’t actually really see things in life as like expensive or inexpensive. It’s if I’m getting a shit ton of money in exchange for paying a shit ton of money, then it’s just worth it. Like it’s a business transaction. If I’m just not gonna get much value from it, then yeah, I wanna pay a little bit of money for it. Cuz it’s just an exchange of value.

People might say oh, like DBA talent, they’re very expensive. It’s what are you getting for that? Are you getting something that’s a premium quality? Then of course, it’s gonna be expensive. 

Look at what you’re getting for it and if you pay an influencer 200 bucks for a partnership, like you’re probably gonna get $200 worth.

I don’t know, people get very emotional about this.

Christina: Yes.

Jessy: And I, and take things personally and that’s not necessary. I wonder if all of us just like collectively, like if we felt ourselves getting a little worked up and taking things personally and getting really frustrated, I just would help if people just if they felt like they were getting in that he mindset, we’re all human.

It’s understandable, we all feel things, but want me to ask yourself why, what is it that’s causing that? Be honest. And if it is that you genuinely just still think that this, value exchange isn’t even then just say . Awesome. Thank you. Now, I know that for the future, and if there’s an opportunity where it does make sense, then you’ll do it then.

I would like to see more of that respect personally in just simply saying, thank you, but no, thank you and we’re moving on. You know what I mean? 

Christina: I agree with you fullheartedly, and I think it also back to the manager side of making sure your talent understand that there’s people on that other side.

So if talent’s laid on something that doesn’t just affect them, it affects the person who’s representing that brand and put that trust into hiring this marketing agency to get the job done and to hire the right talent and to hire talent who are professional. 

So I think that goes also to down to the talent level, to make sure you are professional at the end of the day, to make sure that you are on time with things.

If you are delayed, life happens, give a heads up when you can. That’s something that, especially with talent who haven’t had, you know, quote unquote nine to five job, I feel like sometimes do have a hard time wrapping their minds around. 

And it’s important for managers to remind people that, again, this marketing agency has a lot of amazing talent that they can choose to work on with this, and they wanted to work with you and that’s awesome and that should be respect. 

Again, it just, it’s spawned off of me in the sense of, on something personal, because I think sometimes talent can forget, in that element. And it’s not vindictive by any means. It’s just they’re in their own world and marketing agencies in their own world, we’re in our own world.

And reminding them they’re not saying they need this by end of day because they want to ruin your life and make things difficult. They’re saying they want this by end of day because they let us know a week ago they needed it by end of day. And, their clients are relying on them to get it to them and to be able to go over it.

So that’s just the other side that I think a lot of marketing agencies would appreciate more managers doing, for sure. 

Jessy: Yeah. You were the middle person in all of these scenarios and I don’t know if everyone really appreciates what that feels like like your client at the end of the day, like your fiduciary responsibilities is technically to the influencer who hires you, but like they would not have partnerships if not for the other side, that you also have to please and manage those expectations as well. 

So like we could do probably like another hour, which we’ll, yeah. Of conversations about like how to effectively be the middle person in these scenarios all the time, and please everybody, but also to your point earlier, it’s it’s not just about pleasing, it’s being honest. It’s being transparent.

You were talking about earlier I need to educate my clients perhaps on like business etiquette and that’s all valid. That takes a lot out of a person as well. 

Like I’ve been there and as much as it could be fulfilling for, those moments when you have those successes and those wins and those big partnerships like this will be like, depleting, I’ll just speak personally as a person to have to constantly be managing all of those expectations and feelings and humans. So kudos to you for being able to do it, honestly. 

Just thank you so much for joining today. It’s been like really cool getting to know you and, just hearing how you think, and your background and origin story. It’s been really lovely getting to know you. I’m sure that a lot of our listeners would love to follow along on your journey and, both to celebrate you and to celebrate your clients, so what’s the best way for them to follow along? 

Christina: So I’m a very private person, so I think the best way to follow along in terms of business items would be my LinkedIn, which is Christina Jones. My Instagram is private. Our DBA handle. I think a lot of great information to share it there.

I think our, head of the brand partnerships and marketing has done an amazing job at creating additional, conversation starters that are not only helpful for our talent and marketers and grants and agencies, but also for people who aren’t within, the DBA group, through the lives that we’re doing and the different mentorship programs that we’re doinng

Jessy: Perfect. It’s been such a pleasure having you on today. I’ve learned so much and I know our audience has too, and I also appreciate and respect the crap out of you saying that, while all of my clients are incredibly public that you’re private, I think that’s really respectable. But yeah, just thank you so much for taking the time.

I hope that you feel like you got your voice out there and, I thought it went great. So I just appreciate all your time. 

Christina: Of course. Thank you. And thank you for being so patient with me. You know this from our world, but I at least prioritize myself when it comes to, the business side.

With that, I’ve been a bit difficult in that way, so I appreciate your grace there. 

Jessy: No, I’m fine with that. I appreciate that you have the self-awareness to, say that because I think that it’s something that you should prioritize more. And I only say that because if there’s anything that we can do to help facilitate that, like that’s really like the ethos of what women’s all about.

We’re so used to promoting other people. We’re so used to like, especially as managers. Oh my goodness. So yeah I wanted to hear more from you and I appreciated it. And I think that our listeners will appreciate learning all about from your perspective too. 

So thank you. 

Christina: Of course. Of course. And definitely wanna see a panel where you have marketers and managers on and talking about that. Careful balance. It’d be great. 

Jessy: Totally. It’s a careful balance and just like more communication needs to happen. More transparency to your point. Like just people need to be honest and I think like empathy is probably one of the biggest things.

If people truly really, truly empathize and it’s hard to do if you’ve never experienced it. So I cerebrally understand it, but I also know that if it were possible it would solve the industry’s problems, but… 

Christina: It would be a hundred percent at the end of the day. Whether if obviously like you’re managing campaign and something happens and you’re delayed and my talent’s I need the brief.

It’s like something’s going on with this person, reminder. People are humans. People have things happening in their life and same vice versa. If my client, their daughter gets extremely ill and they’re in the emergency room and a brand’s we still need this by end of day, I’m like, okay, let’s be humans for a second.

They are prioritizing their child who’s in the emergency room. They’re not dittle dowling and ignoring you. Like they have something that unfortunately, very unfortunately happened, right?

Jessy: Hundred percent. In the grand scheme of life like that leads to a hundred percent be the thing that they’re focusing on.

And you’re crazy. Sorry. If you think that something else needs to be, we’re talking about like a sick child or a, just life it’s.

Christina: Or respecting time at the end of the day, like in my clients’ work on the weekends, that doesn’t mean that marketing and brand agencies do because they work normal nine to sixes and that’s what they prioritize.

And maybe you took Monday off to go do a Disney Day because you have the ability to do that. Cause you worked on a Saturday. Totally fine. People have different schedules. 

Jessy: Totally. A hundred percent. Yeah, we can go on and on, but like it’s refreshing to hear that like I think we’re aligned on a lot of this stuff yeah. Anyways, I would love to keep supporting, so I will continue to like, cheer you on from afar. I’ll let you know of course, when this episode goes live. 

And in the meantime, like I’ll probably message you after and see if there’s like other ways that we can maybe partner on stuff. Cuz you should get your voice out there more.

I think it’s really important that you do that. So if there’s anything that I can do to help or introduce you to other people or whatever, then I would love to. 

Christina: Oh, you’re amazing. Thank you Jessy. And vice versa, if you are needing anything from me or wanna spitball ideas, I’m here. I promise 

Jessy: Okay. I believe you . I know you’re all right. Cool. Nice chatting with you. We’ll talk very soon. Enjoy the rest of your day. All right.

Christina: Awesome. You too.

Christina Jones

Senior Vice President of Talent, DIGITAL BRAND ARCHITECTS

Christina Jones is Senior Vice President of Talent at Digital Brand Architects. In her role as SVP, Jones has led and built an additional management sector at DBA that continues to lead DBA’s mission to amplify strong multi-hyphenated voices in the digital space. Jones began her career in the space eight years ago, quickly garnering wide acknowledgement and credibility for representing and building pathways for talent who push against traditional societal standards.

During her time at DBA, Jones’ clients careers have sky-rocketed. In 2018, it was announced that Jones’ client Patrick Starrr in partnership with Digital Brand Products, secured a $10M investment to begin his own makeup brand One/Size Beauty. In total, Jones’ management team have secured over 20+ high value business opportunities with DBP, garnering multi-million dollars of revenue through these partnerships. Additionally, Jones’ clients like Kier Gaines, Achieng Agutu, Terrell and Jarius, Yasmin Maya have been recognized by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, The White House, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Michelle Obama and more for their advocacy around Black rights, LGBTQ+ and US citizenship.

Prior to DBA, Jones’ career started as a manager at The Collective (Studio71) and later, at 21-years-old, she became one of the youngest agents in history when she was announced as an Endorsement Agent at APA, securing eight-figures in partnerships during her tenure for clients of the agency. She was also apart of UTA’s acquisition of Digital Brand Architects in 2019 and has grown from a Director to Senior Vice President of the company within four years of joining DBA. Jones’ resides in Los Angeles and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Television Production with a minor in Digital Strategic Communications and Film.

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