Q4 Management

Lindsay Pierce is a trailblazer in influencer marketing and management, redefining brand-to-talent relationships in an ever-changing industry. With a dynamic background that spans from revolutionizing Martha Stewart's media brands to orchestrating celebrity collaborations for L'Oreal Paris with global icons like Viola Davis, Celine Dion, and Camila Cabello, Lindsay's visionary approach has helped reshape the talent landscape. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, her career is punctuated by a relentless pursuit of innovation and a laser-focused dedication on driving brand revenue. As the Vice President of Talent Management at Estate Five Media, Lindsay spearheads a growing talent team, propelling 120 creators to new heights of success while transforming their digital platforms for sustained profitability.



[00:00:00] Lindsay: I would say lean into your team as much as possible. The more you silo yourself as a manager, the worse you’re going to be.

[00:00:15] Jessy: Hey guys, welcome to the party. Welcome back to the Women in Influencer Marketing Podcast. I am your host, Jessi Grossman, and it is like the middle of Q4. So we got into. all things Q4 during this week’s episode. We had just finished our State of the Union virtual event, which was phenomenal. Every year you guys come out.

So we’re going to continue this year over year. It’s sort of our recap on the year prior so that we can all kick ass the year. after. So we just wrapped that up, but if you missed it, don’t worry. It’s available on our website now. Of course, it’s free for members and guests. You can pay for a small fee.

It is an incredible, valuable event. So I highly recommend checking it out, but We had a hundred-plus people attend and y’all were lit in the chat. And it was cool seeing you guys be so active. It was great to hear from you guys and it was fun. I hope you guys enjoyed it too. I got a lot of great feedback related to the holidays.

Have you guys checked out our merch yet? We have merch all year round, but during the holidays, people love to grab it because it makes such. great gifts. So we have hoodies, we have shirts, we have hats, we have all sorts of stuff. It makes such a cool gift for people for the holidays. And we’ve also had people add these items to their wishlist.

If you’re like us our family is a wishlist family. So I feel like we used to just like, have it be like free open by whatever you think the other people would like, but. In recent years, some people have been more difficult than others. And so what we’ll do is we’ll create like gift lists for yourself where it’s like, this is what I’m looking for and it makes it helpful.

I like to supplement those lists. Like I’ll buy a few things off of them, but I also like to be creative and inventive, and I think it’s more special to buy. Also, things that are just from the heart, from your mind, but add these items to your gift list or tell people that you like them or buy them for coworkers or people that, you know, are on a whim.

We also just had our Secret Santa. That was so cool. It was so cool. Like us, it’s just completely voluntary. So I just. posted in our Slack being 

[00:02:28] Lindsay: like, does anyone want to do 

[00:02:29] Jessy: secret Santa again this year? And so many people raised their hands and I’ve got really sweet, I know cool gifts are on the way and some people have already received them anyway.

So I love this time of year. It’s such a sweet time. Anyways. Yeah. Our guest today, her name is Lindsay Pierce. You are in for such a treat. And let me tell you a little bit about Lindsay. So Lindsay is a trailblazer and influencer in marketing and management. She’s redefined brand-to-talent relationships in an ever-changing industry with a dynamic background that spans from revolutionizing Martha Stewart’s media brands to orchestrating celebrity collaborations for L’Oreal Paris with global icons like Viola Davis, Leon, and so many more.

Uh, Lindsay’s visionary approach has helped reshape the talent landscape. She’s a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and her career is punctuated by a relentless pursuit of innovation and a laser-focused dedication to driving brand revenue. She is currently the VP of Talent Management at State 5 Media, and she spearheads a growing team propelling 120 creators to new heights of success while transforming their digital platforms.

She’s For sustained profitability. I’m so excited whenever I can get my hands on an awesome talent manager so they can share a little peek behind the scenes. This is one of those days. Happy holidays to all of you guys. Stick around. This episode’s so good.

This show is sponsored by women in influencer marketing, better known as WIM. The best online community for the 

[00:04:09] Lindsay: creator economy. You will meet fellow influencer marketers. You’ll meet brands. 

[00:04:15] Jessy: You’ll meet talent agencies. So talk shop, get hired, and even find a mentor. When you become a member, do not forget to check out all of our incredible resources.

For example, we have dozens of masterclasses from the top voices, at TikTok, at YouTube, award-winning agencies, and women who are paving the way for us all. So if you want the chance to network with a FooSoo and influence our marketing, check out what it takes to become. A member, make more money and have fun doing it.

Visit me at wim.com/join. That’s I-A-M-W-I-I m.com/join today and I look forward to seeing you more around the community. So I am very excited to have you on the show, Lindsay. So first and foremost. 

[00:05:07] Lindsay: Welcome and how are you today? I’m so good. I’ve been sick for the past couple of days and today is like a feel-good day for me.

So I’m like, let’s get into it. Yes. 

[00:05:17] Jessy: Isn’t it nice? There’s like that day at post cold or like. 

[00:05:21] Lindsay: Feel like a normal human again. Thank God. I’m just striving and it’s lovely here in Dallas, like ready to start my life again. That 

[00:05:29] Jessy: this is awesome. I’m glad that you’re feeling better. I also love that you’re in Dallas.

We have a growing community out there. There’s a lot of people in marketing out 

[00:05:37] Lindsay: there. Do you, do you feel the same way? Yes, it’s, I feel like Texas in general, the market has grown tremendously. Like Austin, Houston, we know a ton of people in Dallas locally and. Have a ton of events here throughout the year, but yeah, I feel like the Texas market and like Midwest in general have grown a lot.

I feel like it used to be very like LA, New York driven, and coming to Dallas, I used to live in New York. So coming to Dallas, I have been exposed to just like a whole new world here, a completely different market. And I used to work with a lot of people in this.

I love that 

[00:06:13] Jessy: and maybe this is a great opportunity to just sort of like hear more about you in your own words. We heard about you in an intro, but I always think it’s It’s more interesting to not hear from me but to hear it from you and like your first-hand experience. So tell us a little bit more about your career, your path, your trajectory, and sort of like a little bit about your, your career now and where 

[00:06:35] Lindsay: you’re at presently.

Of course. So my career, I think as anyone in influencer marketing has spanned a lot of different categories. I feel like it was the right place, the right time for me. I entered the workforce when social media was like this big, booming, thriving thing. Paid media was taking off. It was a social frenzy. I started my career working directly under Martha Stewart.

As you can imagine, that was It’s been truly such a shock to the system. I was like, is that, is that 

[00:07:07] Jessy: like post-Snoop Dogg, pre-Snoop Dogg days? I love 

[00:07:11] Lindsay: that relationship so much. It’s post-Snoop Dogg days. It’s amazing. I had to sign an NDA for that. There are a lot of little tidbits about her that I could go into, but the story is for another time.

So that was a shock to the system, definitely coming straight out of college. I graduated University of Missouri in journalism school. I was well-versed in media overall, and her magazines were a huge interest to me, so I thought this would be a good entry point. So that’s really where I got my jumpstart, and kind of my first, like, experience with talent.

Working with her directly was I mean, she’s the ultimate talent, so you can imagine all the things that I had to learn very quickly from her. I then kind of moved into her magazine and editorial department and loved that so, so, so much. But I think at the end of the day, I just felt like I had more to learn, more to grow from.

I started working at L’Oreal Paris shortly thereafter. And I stayed there for a long time in my career. So, again, started in social media. I was kind of like, you’re the 20-something on the team. So, they kind of look to you as like, what’s going on in the social space? So, like I say, right place, right time.

Like it was right when everything was taking off. So, got my start in social media. Then they were like, okay, we’re kind of like starting to test influencer programs. And I mean, We had limited budgets, like we’re talking 50, 000 at the time that I started working for them, which now is, seems small to me.

And the more that I got into that and kind of the PR and press of it all, the more I just really took off. L’Oreal Paris, I got lucky with that job. They have some of the biggest spokesmodels in the world. I mean, we’re talking Celine Dion, Viola Davis, Lake Lively at one point, J. Lo, like. You name it for talent.

So I also got that experience in addition to influencer. The job kind of really molded both into programming and it was a holistic approach, I think, to talent, which was extremely valuable to me in my career. And I learned so much there. So after that, after kind of grinding my way through New York City, I just really needed a change of scenery and pace.

And I thought Dallas would be the perfect place. I’m from Oklahoma originally. So kind of more of a small-town girl, but Dallas seems like a really good middle place for me. And Lindsay Eaton, our current CEO was one of my clients, at L’Oreal Paris. She. Had multiple talents that I worked with throughout the year and I gave her a call and I was like, Hey, what’s the job market like in Dallas?

Like, I have no idea what it’s like there. How do I go from doing this job to doing something in Dallas? And she was like, immediately you’re coming to work for me. You are hired, like come be a manager here. I started here as a junior manager in 2020 and then I worked my way up to VP of talent management within the past three years.

So it’s been a wild ride. When I first started, the agency had probably 15 employees, I think at most. And now we are. Between 35 and 40, the roster at the time was maybe 60 talent. Now it’s 120. So really, really grown and kind of like made our, our stake in the ground for the industry. So wild, wild journey starting from this day.

Totally. I freaking 

[00:10:34] Jessy: love your story though. From like Martha Stewart to like management, well to brand and all this stuff in between, but like heading into management and I think that 

[00:10:42] Lindsay: that is so. Relatable and I’ll 

[00:10:44] Jessy: explain why I hear in some of the recruiting work that I do and just like generally within whim that a lot of people who let’s just say the grass is always greener.

So some people who are 

[00:10:56] Lindsay: like on the brand side or the agency side, they’re like, I want to get into management, but 

[00:11:01] Jessy: it can seem hard to get into something that you don’t necessarily have direct experience with from my sort of like, from my perspective, I’m like. There are some qualities and some characteristics of any job in influencer marketing that I can see as a crossover between working on the brand side and working on the management side.

Like there are some similarities, but I guess my question for you is, since there are a lot of people who would love to get into the marketing space and perhaps have experience on the other side, what would you tell them? What would you advise? 

[00:11:35] Lindsay: They to get started? That is a great question because.

We’re all in the same space, right? So we all speak the same language. We know the lingo of influencer marketing. I think where it starts to differentiate between the brand side and the management side is with those personal relationships. I was super lucky at L’Oreal Paris. I had a good relationship with my previous boss.

And she taught me so much about just PR ing yourself and doing that for talent and taking care of them in the right way and gifting them in the right way, showing up in their lives that wasn’t just this exceptional brand-to-talent relationship, it was so much more than that, to the point where When I left L’Oreal Paris, I had such good relationships with talent that I worked with there that three of them are now on my roster personally.

So for me, it was always relationship and trust-based, not so much like how much money can I give you and what kind of stats are you giving me? I think there’s a time and place for that. There’s a need for that on the brand side. We have to prove ROI. We have to make sales goals, and there are so many numbers behind what influencer marketing is.

But to me, I always took it a step further and made it more about those relationships with talent. So I think that being said, it’s an emotional intelligence piece that I don’t know if you can be taught, but I think you can kind of pick it up along the way and, and practice it.

It’s knowing the needs of your talent. It is advocating for them. I think that my favorite part about shifting over to the management side is that I was kind of already doing that from my team to our marketing teams at L’Oreal anyway. And this kind of gave me just full access to do that 20 percent on behalf of my talent.

So I’ve loved that piece. I love getting to be They’re a cheerleader behind the scenes that is just, you know, rooting for their success every single day. They deserve it. I think one of the misconceptions about this industry is that they are just money-making machines and, that’s all there is to it, but they’re human beings and like, I am their person at the end of the day.

Like if they need someone to cry to, to listen to them. To hash through something, to bounce creative ideas off of, like, that is the management team. I think EstateVibe does that so well, and it’s one of the reasons that I wanted to come here in the first place, at L’Oreal Paris, I worked with so many different management companies.

I had very different experiences with all of them. The ones that I have kept in touch with, and that I enjoyed working with, it was that kindness, that politeness, that consideration, that We’re all humans doing jobs here and like, we have to, remember that about each other. And, and I always loved that about Lindsey Eaton, our CEO here, and the work that she was creating for us at State Fives.

[00:14:49] Jessy: You’re so speaking my language because I, I try to tell people just like, be more human, be more human. I think that people fall into the trap a lot in our industry of just like, Trying to, like, get from A to Z as fast as possible. They have a goal, they have a KPI, and they have a deadline. And I think that, like, along the way, some of us just, like, become robotic, honestly.

And I just think that to just be cognizant of, like, Was that interaction more robotic? Or is that interaction more human? Just being cognizant of it, I think, is just, is the first step to just 

[00:15:31] Lindsay: being better of a partner and I understand, 

[00:15:35] Jessy: like I understand that like if you have a job to do like you just sometimes you feel like you don’t have the bandwidth, the time, the whatever to infuse some niceties, but I 

[00:15:44] Lindsay: just have the experience to understand that they go such.

a long way. And 

[00:15:49] Jessy: I wonder also like from the other side of things, like I love that you’re talking about how like influencers themselves, they’re all unique, they’re all different. And so they shouldn’t all be treated the same. They post different content, they have different audiences. So I’m curious in terms of measurement.

And having success in a 

[00:16:10] Lindsay: campaign, does that differ or align 

[00:16:14] Jessy: across the board for your talent? Meaning like how you define and 

[00:16:19] Lindsay: measure success, for your clients? I love this question. I think your point is that each talent is so different that we cannot even prescribe specific success metrics. For them on their behalf, it has to be a conversation.

I am constantly encouraging my team here to just get on the phone with them, see what’s up, see what they’re like, see how they’re reacting to something. It all starts with that conversation. We have reviews at the beginning of the year with our talent to kind of go through what last year looked like for us.

How did you grow? And I encourage my team to also kind of look at their success in a very long-term capacity. I think we’re so used to working month by month, like, okay, October campaign, November campaign, December campaign, okay, January offer, and like, we are so used to executing on a month-by-month basis that we very infrequently look up and kind of look at the big picture of the full year and like what happened on their channels.

Like what kind of work did they put in and how did they grow? How did that reflect in their partnerships? And we look, at their kind of success from a very like high level at a very high-level perspective. There’s kind of four different ways that we, I would say measure, but. That’s mostly just for our goal-setting for them.

And none of this is new. This is all very industry standard. It’s just like something that we help kind of guide them with. And I will caveat and say as a sidebar that talent comes to us in very different places when they sign on with management. So they could come to us and just have a full-blown team under them already.

And they have full business goals. They have a business manager and financial advisor, and they’re like, execute my campaigns. Thank you so much. And we kind of slayed into their team and just worked seamlessly with them. We also have talent that come to us and they’re like, I want to grow my platform. I want to make a little more money.

I want more partnerships. I want these types of partnerships. And where do I start? And good management companies know how to do both. There’s that kind of flexibility that we have to have. That kind of emotional intelligence that we know where it was laid in. We know where, where we’re supposed to show up for them.

We can kind of gauge the situation in terms of success. So we’re looking at tip income, most obviously, what are they making and their careers? And what does that look like? Revenue-wise, where is that coming from? The second is passive income. So to me, this is the most undervalued in the industry right now.

And, I think you just recently posted something about it, Jesse. I’m not sure, but in affiliate marketing in general, there’s just so much money to be made there and not enough talent using it. I think to their benefit. I have a question about 

[00:19:03] Jessy: that. Cause a lot of people are talking about that. We had an event just yesterday where one of our panelists was, she’s on the affiliate side and she’s like, okay, you guys listen up.

Like there’s such an opportunity here and not enough people are jumping at it. So like, I guess you’re privy to the creator 

[00:19:23] Lindsay: mindset. So I’m curious, 

[00:19:24] Jessy: like. Why, why are people hesitant or just simply decide not to jump into affiliate 

[00:19:32] Lindsay: work? I think affiliate work seems like a bigger lift than it is. And I think when it comes to affiliate marketing, it truly has to be approached as marketing.

And I don’t know that a lot of creators know how to do that. And again, that’s kind of where the management team can come in and say, Hey, this is what it looks like. This is what you should be doing every day. But to me, the most successful people in affiliate marketing right now are posting morning, noon, and night.

They are shopping for their audience. They’re just making the overall experience a lot easier for their audience. And they’re showing up at relevant moments, which on the brand side, we used to call tentpole moments. Valentine’s day coming up, who are you gifting? What does it look like? Are you staying in with your girlfriends and doing a PJ night, creating collages around that content that’s just very easy for them to click and buy something?

And I think a lot of creators, that’s where they kind of miss the boat is that they’re not having, they don’t have that mindset. They’re not thinking holistically for their audience, or maybe they don’t know their audience well enough to know how to show up there. I also think that affiliate marketing takes a long time to see kind of that turnover.

I mean, the most that I’ve seen is like two to three years. You have to train your audience. That’s why I say it’s very similar to marketing. You have to treat your audience in some capacity with affiliate marketing as consumers. Like they are consuming, your content, they’re consuming your media, they’re consuming your links that you’re posting and, where you’re directing them to.

And you have to keep that in mind and use it strategically to kind of guide them into shopping from you. I think having a really strong POV about who you are, what’s your brand aesthetic, and keeping it consistent. That’s why I say like two to three years, like show your audience who you are, bring them along for the journey, let them trust you.

And then they will start giving you their money. So I, again, it, it all goes back to like, The trust, it’s, it shows up everywhere in this industry. Of course. 

[00:21:36] Jessy: Absolutely. I’m curious about your opinions. There’s been a lot of talk this year in particular about like 

[00:21:42] Lindsay: creators versus influencers. And 

[00:21:45] Jessy: the distinction that I hear is that creators are the artists and there’s a place for people who aren’t necessarily salespeople who are 

[00:21:53] Lindsay: just creating beautiful, 

[00:21:55] Jessy: cool, interesting content.

And then some influencers like, they are your salespeople. These would be people who thrive in affiliate marketing, for example, because they’ve trained their audience to buy like their 

[00:22:06] Lindsay: salespeople. What 

[00:22:08] Jessy: is, like, do you guys, like, how does your roster look in terms of like the clients that you work with?

Like, do you try to encourage creators to be both or do you think it’s okay to 

[00:22:19] Lindsay: be one or the other? I think it depends on the market. It’s not something that a management company like a C5 can do. Give an opinion on, I would say, like, I, I agree. Creator versus influencer. There is a distinction.

Influencers are actively influencing their audience to buy, to do certain things, to, it’s just a, it’s just a world of influence that is completely earned and deserved, and they’ve worked hard for it. And then I think the creators are working equally as hard. They’re creating beautiful content.

They. are so creative that sometimes they don’t even know what to do with it. And I think that’s the beauty, of management we can come in and say, Hey, like you be the creative and let us help you monetize because you need to monetize if you want to do this. So kind of like showing up and giving them strategies to both be who they are and also set the goals and hit the goals that they’re, they’re wanting to hit monetarily and, and with partnerships and things like that, it’s, it’s so important for them to kind of.

Listen to that and tap into it. I don’t think we necessarily encourage one to become the other, but I do think those are the unicorns in this space, right? And I’ve worked with very few of them. At L’Oreal we used to call them celebrities because they had some Red carpet credibility, but also some influence and purchasing power and created beautiful content.

And those were the people we were like, this is where they’re spending. We love working with them because they are going to show up in every single arena here. So I think I would encourage like. To me, affiliate marketing, if you can figure out a system and a strategy for implementing that into your daily content routines, like, I think it is well worth it in the long term.

But still, I want you to create beautiful content. And I think there’s a place for both and brands are looking for both. You just have to know who to tap into at what times. And I think going back to my first point about the market we never know which way brands are swinging with their spending. And we can kind of take a look back at like three months to quarter and say, okay, right now we’re leaning heavy ROI.

We’re being asked for insights nonstop. That’s all we’re asking to be proven to provide ROI to these brands. So we do indicate, I do think there is always a time and place where we can find space for both creators though, despite what’s going on in the market. So 

[00:24:48] Jessy: I have a follow-up question for you.

My question is, what do you think are some common mistakes that brands make when working with 

[00:24:56] Lindsay: influencers? Some mistakes that brands make when working with influencers. To me, it. I think this is part of our, our overarching conversation here is like, they’re so individualistic that there’s almost, you can’t apply a formula to any single one of them.

I personally really like having conversations about rates specifically, like, this is why my client deserves this rate. I have data to back it or I have. Information that I can share with you about how long it takes her to create such beautiful content. Like, there’s a lot of insight and context, I think, that managers can provide to brands that they don’t always consider right at a friend.

I think I was on the brain, we would literally like have a sheet of paper and have everyone’s face on it and be like, here’s her stats, like, here’s her story, little bio. And like, we would go. On a PowerPoint and be like, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no. If I knew someone or I knew like how they performed in campaigns, probably be more likely, to work with them again.

So I think brands don’t have enough of a personal relationship with some talent these days. I think a lot of that is due to COVID and like just us being home and we’re not doing those brand meetings anymore. I’m always encouraging my talent. I’m like. Why don’t you take this, like, go take one of these girls out for coffee because they won’t forget you?

They will love getting out of the office and getting out of their day-to-day mundane presentation-making or making like just daily lives and their jobs, and it will, it will make a huge impact and impression on them. So I think part of it is on the talent too, like. If you don’t think they’re working with you in the right way, go show them how to work with you.

Tell them your story and tell them, like, how you work best, and they guarantee that they’re going to remember that. I love that. And that’s, like, that should 

[00:26:55] Jessy: be such an important goal for everyone. Like, how do I, how do I remain memorable? You know, there’s such a sea of influencers, there’s such a sea of brands, even, too.

And it’s like, how do I stand out? So I think that’s an important 

[00:27:06] Lindsay: goal for 

[00:27:07] Jessy: everybody, no matter, like, what side of it you sit on. 

[00:27:10] Lindsay: I’m also curious, like, From the creator’s lens, what are elements 

[00:27:16] Jessy: and considerations that go into campaign strategy? 

[00:27:21] Lindsay: And I ask because 

[00:27:23] Jessy: for like years it’s been such a debate about like how to work best with creators, how to create a brief, is it Is it best if it’s one page or is it best if it’s 50 pages?

I think the consensus is not 50 pages, but I don’t know. Some people ask these questions, 

[00:27:40] Lindsay: Like how 

[00:27:42] Jessy: prescriptive are we, like 

[00:27:43] Lindsay: what is helpful for the creators versus not every creator 

[00:27:47] Jessy: is creative equal. Some people might want more, more data, more hashtags, more information, more backstories, and things like that to be able to utilize.

And then some might be like. F off. I wanna do it myself. So I’m curious, like from your perspective, what, what, like what dore, what do creators want? What are you seeing in terms of how to create, a successful campaign? 

[00:28:09] Lindsay: Oh gosh. Such a loaded question and probably answer. so I mean, again, every creator’s different, so it’s hard to speak on their behalf overall.

But what I’ve seen more frequently, especially this past holiday, which was crazy, by the way. I saw a lot of cam, I saw a lot of brands asking for concepting and again, that’s not new to me, but I think I was surprised by the number of brands now asking for it. In addition to one round of review and then a final round of review before everything goes live.

And with all of the content they have going live, it adds two more dates that now we have to slate into their content calendars for the month, which is crazy. So then we’re going to them and we’re like, Hey, we need a concept for this brand. We need a draft for this brand. We need revisions for this brand.

And all of a sudden they’re like, what is.

So, I feel like the concept is not necessary if you’re going to give us a brief and provide talking points. That’s all we need. Like the talent is going to put it in their voice and figure out how to serve it best to their audience. I think brands have to remember like. You’re going into this person’s home and their life and you’re having them create content around that.

Isn’t it a bit strange if we’re prescribing these facts or messaging or even creative guidelines that don’t fit their life? And if so, it’s going to look really off to their audience. So it’s almost like, yes, we want to hit brief and we want to make sure that this ladders up to the brands.

Imagery and their brand equity, but we also want to make it look like it’s part of their life too. And I think if it doesn’t, it looks strange to everyone involved in it. It’s one of those uncomfortable, cringe, like, I don’t think anyone wants to see that content. We’ll try to make it work.

And I think we’re very amenable to lots of different scenarios like that. But I would say generally, like, if you’re inviting the influencer into a studio, shooting it in your home base, in your home place, like where you get prescriptive with them and you’re fitting their imagery into your brand versus the brand kind of coming into a home life of a talent who already has a very specific image and, and creative guidelines.

So to me, I think where they can bring it to life is just making it part of their daily lives. And that’s where a lot of the success comes from. We have talent that will post about the product before they add. And I think that’s common. Like, let’s make it part of their lives. If it isn’t already, let’s message it in a way that makes sense for them and lean into that to make the campaign and the story come to life.

And I think it has to be a story in some way, shape, or form. Like maybe we have a fashion-obsessed influencer and she’s doing a haul and like makes complete sense. Like. There doesn’t need to be prescriptive messaging for that. I do know we’ve also been working with some bigger brands that have a lot of legal and medical guidelines, which has been interesting for me.

Like those are extremely prescriptive. They go through multiple rounds of edits. They’re big brands, so they have big budgets. They’re, they’re really good campaigns to work on, but they are, wow, I’ve never experienced the back and forth like I have, with those campaigns. It’s, it’s pretty incredible, but.

Overall, I would say, you know, remember that you’re coming into influencers’ homes and like try to lean into that a little bit, a little bit more. Yeah, I love 

[00:31:55] Jessy: that. I just think the sweet spot has to be somewhere in the middle. I just think it’s hard because every creator is so different. They’re all, they all have very unique individualized businesses.

And they work differently. 

[00:32:07] Lindsay: And so like, I think that could be a 

[00:32:09] Jessy: reason to want to find a handful of creators that you just love and continue to work with them. Why? Because then you’ve sort of, you also have learned their style of, of working and you’ve learned a language that you both speak 

[00:32:23] Lindsay: and you don’t have to completely like reinvent the wheel every time.

That might be 

[00:32:27] Jessy: a real strong, legit benefit for working with a handful of great creators time and time again. Versus This content 

[00:32:34] Lindsay: one-off partnerships, I’m 

[00:32:36] Jessy: curious, like from your perspective, I’ve gotten wind that from creators directly this past year in 2023, that 

[00:32:45] Lindsay: they’ve sort of 

[00:32:46] Jessy: sensed a shift in, Their relationship with management.

I’m a former talent manager myself, so I don’t know that 

[00:32:54] Lindsay: this is necessarily new, but like, I feel like sometimes you’re, it’s like an up, it’s like an uphill battle. 

[00:32:59] Jessy: You find a creator that you want to work with and they have had a not-so-positive experience with management in the past. And you’re like, well, that wasn’t my company, but like, okay, now I have to address this and like sort of start at like negative 50 versus starting just fresh because we’ve just met each other.

How, like. 

[00:33:16] Lindsay: What are 

[00:33:17] Jessy: some concerns that you’ve heard that creators come to you with and what are they really, 

[00:33:23] Lindsay: like, either like skeptical about with management or just like really 

[00:33:28] Jessy: sort of like pinning management down to provide X, Y, and Z for them? What’s more, 

[00:33:33] Lindsay: most important for them these days? I think some of the PTSD probably comes from just misrepresentation.

Like we have to remember management like we are coming in and representing this person. And I have a PR background, so I, that is like my bread and butter and it’s my favorite thing to kind of instill in my team. Like you have to PR them and you are their PR person, like, yes, you’re their manager, you’re working on their ad campaigns, you’re working on their partnerships, you are helping grow their business on every level possible.

There is a level of that kind of like PR, and if you don’t understand that and have that, I think that it’s really easy to just not get it. It’s really easy to not do it right. I also think that there’s a level of care that comes into management. Again, it’s the relationship, it’s the trust, but I’ve worked with agencies where The manager has multiple talents under them and therefore multiple assistants.

And we don’t always know who to have the relationship with on the brand side. We don’t always know who the best person to call is. And it’s a bit unclear to us. So I think just it’s, it’s that like knowledge and that PR kind of, where like, I, I introduced myself to people. I am so and so’s manager. This is what I do for her.

And if you have any questions about her. Platforms come to me, please. Introducing my associate who does a lot of exceptional work. That’s what you can expect from her. But there’s a lot of PR that goes into it. And I think too, that some talents have been burned because they don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.

And that’s scary. Like they are alone in this and they’re handing over the reins. And you have to remember that as a manager, like that requires so much trust from them. And what an honor to be able to say, like, they handed over the reins to me. That’s how I approached my work every day. That’s why I encourage my managers to approach their work every day.

Like, what an honor we’re given to be able to say, like, we were, we were handed the reins from this person. And when they ask for things like, remember that, like they’re asking on behalf of their business, their brand, their brand is their face. Like, this is very personal to them. And I think a lot of management companies approach it as a business first, business only.

And that’s just, that is the opposite I think of, of what we try to do at Estate Five. I’m, I always tell my clients when I first started onboarding, my full roster a couple of years ago, the first thing I would tell them, you are my friend first and foremost. And I know that might sound strange, but I need to establish that this is a relationship that I would like to have with you.

 Because at the end of the day, when things get hard, I need you to be able to call me and say, as my friend, Lindsay, this is not what’s best for me. And I need to be able to know that I can do the same for you. So kind of establishing that business friendship in a way like you would with your coworkers was super important to me when I first started as a manager because it has just made my relationship so much easier, with all of my talents.

We’re talking about hard stuff like they’re losing campaigns and I have to go to them and say we lost the money and that’s a really hard thing to communicate to receive. And so if you’re not able to kind of like get into the nitty gritty and hard stuff and know that at the end of the day, your manager cares about you and cares about your business and your growth.

Hard to hand over the reins, really easy to get PTSD and say, gosh, I think I, I went with the wrong agency and this, and there are a lot of different agencies and, you know, they’re all kind of servicing town in different ways. And I think that’s a fit for some people, the way that a state vibe does things, like we very much, it’s the kindness, it’s the compassion, it’s empathy, we’re still.

business people, and we’re negotiating like heck out there for them and helping grow their businesses. But I think at the core of it, that’s where, and we’re a little bit different. Yeah, and I 

[00:37:42] Jessy: think that that’s important for all management companies, too, is to, like, find a point of distinction.

I think, like, a trap that, especially, like, newer managers fall into is, like, just because your creator needs you to do, like, a hundred things for their business doesn’t mean that, like, you’re the best person to do them. 

[00:37:58] Lindsay: And I think that, like, It’s sort of unfair to 

[00:38:02] Jessy: expect one person to do, like, a hundred different jobs.

And even if you do, like, the expectation that they’re going to do them all equally well is just unreasonable. And so when the managers, when you’re managing your managers, 

[00:38:18] Lindsay: and I’m sure they get these requests because most managers 

[00:38:20] Jessy: do, like, What do you, how do you tell them to communicate back with their talent?

Like, do you, do you say like, we’ll try to make it work? Do you say like, let’s outsource those, let’s find them better partners who can maybe do this part, handle this part of theirs? of their business because we focus, on 

[00:38:40] Lindsay: this, 

[00:38:40] Jessy: or do you have different people on your team who excel in different areas? So maybe you’re like, well, maybe let’s get her connected with this other person at a state five because now we can continue to grow the 

[00:38:51] Lindsay: team.

Like how do you handle those sorts of requests? They happen every day. Right? You can attest to that. My gosh. When people are like, what do you do every day? I’m like this and then this. And then like, I could not tell you, like my day does not look the same every single day. And I think you have a really good point.

Like there, we hire different managers for different reasons. Like we have someone who has worked at Warner Brothers before and has a really good experience. Like in the celebrity Hollywood space, we have someone who has a lot of experience with licensing and product and affiliate marketing.

There are people kind of across the board that are painting this holistic picture for us. When they come to us with requests that are sometimes it’s a laundry list. And I think we’ve worked hard as a company to kind of shift that mindset for them. Like in 2018, that may have been a good tactic where it’s like, okay, tell me all the brands you want to work with.

Let’s just start there. And that’s a good conversation to have. Right. But like, to me, it’s a much bigger picture of like. What does your brand look like personally? What does your channel look like right now? Who are you talking about? What category are you in? And being able to have that one-on-one conversation with them, like, Okay, listen, I know that you love this brand, but look at the brand right now.

Look at what they’re posting, look at where they’re putting their paid media spend, look at where they’re showing up. For tentpole moments, Christmas, or whatever it may be, Super Bowl Sunday, like, look at where they’re putting their, their spend. Do you match up with that? Because that’s a really good indicator of whether or not we’re going to be able to land a campaign for you.

So it’s just kind of the industry knowledge that like, again, it’s like, you can’t learn this in school, like, it has to be passed down. So we are just constantly buzzing over here of like, conversations with like, what’s going on at FTC? What’s going on? I’d like to know, like, what are, what is constantly, are we seeing in the industry?

Like, we have to stay. On top of it to serve our talent in the best way possible. So I don’t know, it, it designs your question. Yeah, no. 

[00:40:55] Jessy: And like, there’s no right answer. I was just curious about your perspective and I hear this so much. So I think it’s important to talk about, cause I don’t know, there’s like a lot of, there’s a pressure and innate pressure with management and it’s placed on them from like, Every direction, ultimately their client is the influencer, the 

[00:41:12] Lindsay: creator.

And so like, of course, they’re like the pressure for the most part 

[00:41:17] Jessy: is like, you need to help me make more money and be more successful in 

[00:41:24] Lindsay: my business. You are an extension of it 

[00:41:26] Jessy: and you are the one responsible for growing, the business part of it. So. It’s just hard. 

[00:41:32] Lindsay: It’s, it’s 

[00:41:33] Jessy: hard. Yeah. What did you want to chime in 

[00:41:35] Lindsay: and say something also?

No, I completely agree. There’s so much pressure. Like, I don’t think that’s talked about enough. And, and it’s, it’s warranted. I think like we’ve worked hard over many, many years to grow relationships with brands that hopefully will convert to partnerships. That’s why we have a team dedicated to kind of doing that.

And I do that. Our CEO does that. Like we are constantly trying to create these relationships. I think where the pressure comes in is like, okay, I’ve signed with management. My work here is done. Partnerships. And that is just never the case. I think that’s a misconception about management as well.

Like we want to work with you and grow you. And like, we’re signing you because we see potential, we see growth potential, we see revenue potential for you, whatever the case may be. Or maybe you’ve grown that yourself. And like, we want to take some pressure off of you, put it back on us, and give you some time back to do what you do best.

So kind of, they can come in, in both different ways. But I think to your point like there is this. And I think it’s really important for us to think about, like, how are we going to get there and what’s the strategy behind what are some platform enhancements that we can help you with that can then convert.

If there’s a specific brand, here’s the context behind what they’re looking for and how we can ladder up to that. It’s just a, there’s, it’s so overwhelming. Like honestly, all of the brands that we can work with, have everything they’re looking for. So I think as the more the talent knows themselves, knows their perspective in the, in the industry, knows their image, knows their messaging, the easier it is for us to go out and, and sell them and advocate for them for just more partnerships and, and more.

Brand awareness. Totally. And so, my last 

[00:43:28] Jessy: question, arguably, maybe one of the most important ones for all of our managers who are listening, and this episode will be released in Q4 of 2023, the busiest time of the year. What advice would you give to them to just, like, Have a healthier mindset about this to be more successful in their careers, both from a monetary perspective, but also just like a mental health perspective?

What advice would you 

[00:43:58] Lindsay: give them? I would say lean into your team as much as possible. The more you silo yourself as a manager, the worse you’re going to be. I think that’s. It’s an easy trap to fall into because most management companies are managers, talent, and maybe a couple of team members under them.

We are structuring things in such a way that most talent has a manager and associate, and then obviously they have the support of the rest of the team who’s helping with pitching and group pitching and things like that. But leaning into the team is so important. If there’s not a structure where you can go on vacation and someone can cover for you, propose that or create one because that is so, so, so important.

And I remember first starting at a state five and. We didn’t have that. We didn’t know we needed it. It was kind of just a blind spot in, in the space. And I was like, girls, we need, we need a vacation buddy or something. Like we’ve got to put someone on these accounts and. So we’ve created this kind of like number two system.

And I think a lot of agencies do this now because of the burnout capacity. Like we know there’s a certain threshold and we’re constantly asking our managers, like, okay, how’s your bandwidth? How’s your bandwidth? Because it looks different for every single manager. Like, yes, revenue might be high for somebody, but for someone else, like.

They’re putting emotional support into somebody, helping them grow something, helping them do a product that’s going to pay out in a year. So it looks different for everybody and we have to have these honest conversations about where are you at mentally and like, what is your load? And how can we lean in and support you?

We can outsource pitching to some other people to help with that. We can outsource insights to help gather those from your talent. There are a lot of little things that we can kind of pick up off the ground to help support one another. But vacation is so important and you have to like be so in tune with yourself.

I have worked personally really hard with my talent to say like, nine o’clock, I’m going to start working for you, five o’clock, we’re going to wrap it up. And I would encourage them to do the same thing, like, I think they should be working within those business hours if they can, like, obviously they’re, they can have flexible hours.

They chose this industry and they chose it for a reason. The beauty of it is that they can work very flexibly, but I think to avoid burnout for everyone, it’s just so filthy to have kind of that business hour mindset. Take Saturday, and Sunday off, and plan your content. And if they’re, if your talent is doing that, it’s going to relieve the managers a little bit too.

So kind of just an ongoing conversation that we have to have, but. Burnout is so real, something that we just need to constantly have a pulse on. Yeah. 1000 percent because burnout is like the end of our industry 

[00:46:53] Jessy: and it affects everybody. It doesn’t only affect the person who’s necessarily experiencing it firsthand.

Like if you have to work with somebody in any capacity who’s so burned out, like. It’s not pleasant, or even if they’re like, not mean about it, like, you’re just not getting the best version of them, and so, I don’t know, we’ve done a whole masterclass on burnout before, and I think it’s important to continuously talk about it, especially in like Q4 of the year, and look, the real talk, some people’s Q4s are not created equal, like some people are like, oh my god, we’re so 

[00:47:27] Lindsay: busy, we’re swamps, we’re doing all these wonderful things, And some people like, ooh, 

[00:47:31] Jessy: like we expected and hope to have more business than we’re having.

So all of that equals heightened emotions. And 

[00:47:38] Lindsay: I, that’s part of this like freelancer business that we’re 

[00:47:42] Jessy: a part of because all creators are freelancers. And so their business ebbs and flows depending on the quarter. And that’s just part of it, but that trickles down and affects everybody who’s on the team.

So I think that like, A, just be aware of that. B. Every year can’t be an increase. It’s just not like some years are going to be flat. Some years you’re going to be down. That’s just the 

[00:48:04] Lindsay: nature of business and just like having 

[00:48:07] Jessy: realistic expectations, I think are important, but yeah, I want to protect our managers.

I want to protect their well-being because if they’re great if they’re just great and they love what they do, it would be a really big shame to see them just like that. End up transitioning out of it because they just got burnt out and they weren’t necessarily educated with the tools that they need, to survive and thrive.

So I appreciate your thoughts on that. I also appreciate just having you on the show today and hearing all your thoughts and perspectives. It’s been such a pleasure and a joy. So I would love for our audience to 

[00:48:41] Lindsay: know the best way to connect 

[00:48:43] Jessy: with you. So plug yourself. We’re on a social website, whatever.

What’s the best way for our audience 

[00:48:48] Lindsay: to get in touch? Oh gosh, I’m never the person that’s used to doing this. Yeah. Instagram, Lindsay Pierce. That’s just my handle there. LinkedIn. I’m also there anywhere social that you work as a manager, you can probably find me. So yeah, thank you so much, Jessie. It was such an honor, to come on and just have.

 Honest conversations about this space. I think it’s super important and transparency is incredibly important to us too. And just being able to advocate for talent and managers across the industry is best to end all. A 

[00:49:20] Jessy: hundred percent. I appreciate all the work that you guys are doing. I think we all need to like work to, you know, improve and better and just be that, you know, transparent and open with each 

[00:49:29] Lindsay: other.

So that will all work better 

[00:49:31] Jessy: as a whole. So thank you for coming on today. Thank you guys so much for listening 

[00:49:35] Lindsay: and we will see you next week. Bye, guys. If you enjoyed this 

[00:49:39] Jessy: episode, we got to have you back. Check out our website for more ways to get involved, including all the information you need about joining our collective.

You can check out all the information at I am whim. com. Leave us a review, 

[00:49:53] Lindsay: a rating. But the most important thing that we can ask you to 

[00:49:56] Jessy: do is to share this 

[00:49:58] Lindsay: podcast. Thanks for 

[00:49:59] Jessy: listening. 

[00:50:00] Lindsay: Tune in next week.

Lindsay Pierce

Vice President of Talent Management, ESTATE FIVE MEDIA

Lindsay Pierce is a trailblazer in influencer marketing and management, redefining brand-to-talent relationships in an ever-changing industry. With a dynamic background that spans from revolutionizing Martha Stewart’s media brands to orchestrating celebrity collaborations for L’Oreal Paris with global icons like Viola Davis, Celine Dion, and Camila Cabello, Lindsay’s visionary approach has helped reshape the talent landscape. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, her career is punctuated by a relentless pursuit of innovation and a laser-focused dedication on driving brand revenue. As the Vice President of Talent Management at Estate Five Media, Lindsay spearheads a growing talent team, propelling 120 creators to new heights of success while transforming their digital platforms for sustained profitability.

Book Your Session