Who is Jake Webb?
The founder and president of Slash MGMT, Jake Webb, is a self-described “military brat.”
He shares this is “important in the sense that I, when I was a kid, every two years would like move and I would just move to a different country, different state, whatever.”
The constant moving gave him a strong passion for different cultures and art.
“I kind of like really found that I wanted to work with artists, and at the same time, I also had the same vision of “I want to do that, but I want to be a businessman.” and “Like, how do I merge that?” I didn’t know.”
Eventually, Jake began working in LA at an ad marketing agency, where he managed high-end entertainment and celebrity endorsement deals, such as sponsoring Kelly Clarkson.
“And so all that was important because for me to kind of see these macro deals [because] that informed these micro-influencer deals today.”
Starting Slash MGMT
Jake founded Slash MGMT after he realized some of the unfortunate setbacks of the industry.
“For example, I was promoting my client Nikita Dragun [who at the time was much less well known], and they were like oh, she’s not sellable [because] she’s trans, and I was like, this is insane. So, I kind of was like, I can’t work at this company longer, but I can take my roster of clients I really believe in, and I can build something.”
The name Slash came from, “it’s like a joke on the fact that when I first came to LA… like people would make fun of artists with aspirations that were just in many different kinds of creative verticals because they’re like you have to specialize.”
For example, if an artist was an “artist/dancer/actor/model.” However, this diverse creativeness is now celebrated in the creator economy, and many influencers find they need to fit into many roles.
What is Slash MGMT Today?
Two and a half years later, Slash MGMT has 10 talent managers and creative producers. Some of Slash’s biggest clients have included Dinah Jane (5.2M), Nikita Dragun (14.3M), Pressley (7.3M), Tati Mitch (5.3M), Snitchery (3M), and more.
Slash MGMT has a strong focus on supporting and advocating for BIPOC creators with unique, innovative campaigns and programs. They’ve also partnered with many huge brands, including Savage x Fenty, Neutrogena, P&G, Benefit, AT&T, and Sephora.
What is the Talent Process?
When considering creators for representation, Jakes share that they “look for a story, like I really want to get behind someone that has a unique point of view, has a unique vision, has a unique, just something that we can really get behind and build and that’s why it’s always a matter of having a first conversation.”
The first conversation with Slash MGMT is crucial for understanding a creator’s chemistry, energy, vision, and much more. Work ethic and reputation are other crucial factors.
Slash MGMT also looks at an artist’s social numbers, such as their engagement, followers, etc. As is the case with many talent management companies, Slash MGMT looks out for creators that have purchased followers or have significant discrepancies between views and engagement across posts.
Promoting a Talent Agency
Slash’s PR team works diligently to share their message and testimonials online. They have multiple social media accounts, including Instagram, where they speak to clients and potential clients.
“We’re really trying to use our [work] credits to kind of speak for ourselves.”
Slash MGMT works to create stunning campaigns between influencers and brands. Over the years, they’ve worked on many influencer marketing campaigns for companies like Neutrogena and Mac.
“Nikita Dragun, who is an entrepreneur – We’re able to basically be this in-house studio for her brand, [which] doesn’t really [have] these costs that normal other startups would. And she’s able to essentially like have us do every campaign.”
Nikita Dragun x Benefit
Some of Jake Webb’s favorite influencer collaborations have been communal community experience collabs.
For example, “I loved back in the day when Benefit was doing all these like really high caliber licensing deals with clients… So you get their face on product shelves, and retail, and kind of have this like communal community experience, so when they did that with the Hoola palette, as with all the original beauty gurus.”
Jake Webb loves Slash MGMT’s Nikita Dragun Benefit campaign because of the short films created for Benefit, which were fun and evergreen content.
The strategy for this campaign was creating short films that starred Nikita as the main character of a romantic comedy, but instead of a romantic partner saving her, the Benefit brow products saved her. The fun aspect of this campaign made it impactful and successful for both Nikita and Benefit.
Typically, Slash MGMT measures its campaign success by tangible data like sales numbers. Receiving this information from brands helps them refine what works well and pivot for more successful results in the future.
“I think, you know, obviously with brands nowadays, they’re so sales focused that they can kind of sometimes forget like affinity and even just awareness and kind of building equity within their brand.”
Jake Webb relies on his influencers to help Slash MGMT remain on the cutting edge to stay fresh with trends and the constantly changing social media landscape. If your company works with influencers, lean on them for insight and inspiration into new trends, social media, and more to stay on top of new and emerging trends.
When asked about the biggest mistakes he sees in influencer marketing today, Jake shares, “Sometimes people and newer brands and agencies will just got and hit that scale, and they won’t really think about what’s appropriate for like the brand or client.”
Just shooting for numbers and virality works sometimes, but it may not help a brand long-term.
Jake Webb also notes, “It’s got to be laddered up to those integrated strategies, and there has to be good, you know, strategy and storytelling.”
For small brands looking to gain exposure, Jake recommends, “Don’t be intimidated and don’t be scared because there is still a lot of opportunity and there’s still agencies and talent that are looking to support deep brands, especially if there’s a good story.”
His favorite thing about influencer marketing?
“I think just how it’s constantly evolving and changing and like you kind of have to keep learning and it does feel like a game almost, like it’s so gamified, so it’s kind of fun.”