Some serious stars have emerged in the last five years and guess what? They’re under 30! How did they do it, you ask? Where? Why? What? I want some of that!
Just like you, we follow amazing people on Instagram, we admire them and we take our hats off to them. So we reached out to GLEAM, the talent behind stars like @gracebeverley, Forbes 30 under 30, Founder of @WEARETALA, and paid our respects, asking them if they could give us a glimpse into what life is like in an agency spotting stars and building brands. Luckily for us, they were only too happy to connect us with the savvy talent manager @veritypark who shared her experience with us.
**Stop what you’re doing, grab a coffee and a notepad, what Verity Park is about to tell you, could be the catalyst in starting your career. Are you ready?**
You’ve been a talent manager for Grace Beverley for some time now, could you explain to us how you found Grace and explored the talent she had?
Three years actually… I hate to be that person… but time really does fly. It was actually our CEO Dom Smales that spotted Grace over three years ago. Grace was placed onto my roster because when I was interviewing for the role I flagged her as a talent with huge potential and Gleam clearly felt the same as Grace signed one month after I joined in 2017.
Gleam existed pre-Instagram and before the existence of the ‘social media influencer’ so we offer strategic insight into the careers of digital talent, to help them build long and meaningful careers. For Grace, that meant building an ethical brand that prioritises the planet. For other talent that might mean building a name for themselves in broadcast, radio or podcasting. Whatever the aim, my job is to put together strategies, form connections and ultimately take the right steps to reach the end goal.
With so many potential digital entrepreneurs on social media, how do you choose the ‘stars’?
There is no ‘secret formula’ to becoming a successful digital entrepreneur. We are looking for a spark, a potency, an energy. Having one million followers doesn’t necessarily translate into having a successful, long-lasting career on or off social. It can be a number of things, it might be expertise, creativity or another sort of talent. Now more than ever people use Instagram to educate, entertain, inspire or inform so you need to consider what value you’re offering to people when they visit your page. Whether you’re teaching them to cook fluffy protein pancakes, inspiring them to paint their living room or informing them of the unethical practices of fast fashion… it doesn’t matter. The thing that matters is that the content you’re creating is valuable.
In terms of your own personal growth, when you started working on TALA with Grace Beverley, what learning curve did you go through personally in managing the relationship?
The things you find easy probably aren’t worth bothering with. I’m always conscious of how Instagram makes it appear that things are really easy for the person you’re watching/absorbing, but it is such a small fraction of everything they do. Grace and the TALA team are so undeniably dedicated to the brand and to making things happen. At times, we’ve been hugely under resourced and everyone mucks in to get things done. I couldn’t have put it better than when Grace said that the team treats the brand as though it is their own. For every TALA launch, announcement, event or pop up that you see remember there will have been many sleepless nights, phone calls, spreadsheets, meetings, debates etc that went into it. And that is what makes the process so rewarding. When we see the positive feedback from the TALA consumers about something we’ve created, it would be nowhere near as satisfying if the process had been easy.
We are so impressed by your own achievements at GLEAM, what piece of advice could you share with our students to motivate them to build their careers?
Have courageous conversations. We are taught from a young age that being ‘nice and polite’ should be prioritised over being honest and transparent, but not being clear about your expectations can lead to miscommunication and confusion. Typically, the conversations you don’t want to have are the most valuable to you and your company, so approach those conversations with extra confidence and plenty of preparation.
What happens when things go wrong, how do you lift yourself out and move on?
Re-strategise. My career has taught me that there is never just one singular route to an end goal. You could take many different routes and some may be longer, some may be shorter, but you’re moving and that’s the key. Don’t get stuck on one idea or route because you’ll only be holding yourself back. That’s not to say when things go wrong, I’m not annoyed, sad, distressed, irritated… all of the above. You need to accept that you might feel emotional when things don’t go your way, but make sure to sit down, regroup, have a cup of tea, hob nob, green juice, wine (…whatever gets you going) re-strategise and move.
Above are some great insights from Verity Park at Gleam Futures, a global talent management company for the top influencers across the UK and US. And if you aren’t followed Verity, Grace or the brand TALA, check them out, they are all doing some amazing things right now and can add some inspiration to your ideas.
Starting your career doesn’t mean it has to be the perfect plan, in fact, it’s the plans that get thrown out of the window that usually end up being the best thing that ever happened.
Below The Grad Hub have summarised 5 key characteristics you need to develop in order to help the growing pains:
- Accept the challenge, don’t take the easy path. One thing for sure when we are inventing and problem solving we grow and mature. The easy path doesn’t lead to creativity, it sucks the passion out of life.
- Keep on moving – they say: give a busy person a task and it gets done. Give it to someone who has nothing on their to-do list and you’ll wait forever for it.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. We learn so much from failure…. And this is where our competitive natures kick to make sure the next thing we do doesn’t repeat unnecessary mistakes.
- Don’t be so serious. Learn to develop a relaxed disposition so that when things do go wrong (and they will), don’t take them personally and the world doesn’t end.
- Re-strategise whenever you need to. The best laid plans dont always turn out the way you imagined. Amazon started off by selling books, now look at, you can buy everything from under the sun. Adapt and move on.
Prepare yourself for the fact that you are going to write many chapters in the book of your career, you have to have courage to try, test, take a leap of faith, quit what doesn’t work and re-strategise. When you keep on moving, it creates energy and things happen. When you don’t move, nothing happens.
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