On August 30th, 2023, Jennifer Powell, Inc. acquired influencer marketing powerhouse The Platform Agency, a respected influencer agency founded in 2016 by Tanya Taylor. The Platform Agency has a history of connecting brands with influencers to drive brand awareness and engagement and has a unique roster of top-tier talent that it brings to Jennifer Powell, Inc.
On the merger, Jennifer shares, “For our talent, I think it was incredibly helpful and important. There are so many clients and brands that she [Tanya Taylor] had experience working with, and we’re able to tap into all of that.”
With the inherited roster of talent from The Platform Agency, Jennifer Powell, Inc. represents creatives and entrepreneurs like Sincerely Jules, Tezza Barton, Cameron Wilson of The Diigitals, Mary Lawless Lee of Happily Gray, Shawn Booth, Claire Kittle, and Julie Solomon.
Expanding into the Nashville Market
Initially, Jennifer Powell, Inc. represented the creator economy almost exclusively in the Los Angeles and New York area. After COVID, markets began shifting, including many exciting developments in the Nashville market, such as emerging brands and talents.
As part of the merger with The Platform Agency, Jennifer Powell, Inc. inherits several Nashville talents, including Mary Lawless Lee of Happily Gray, Shawn Booth, Claire Kittle, and Julie Solomon.
As Jennifer Powell, Inc. expands into Nashville, the company prioritizes holistic and sustainable brand partnerships above one-off, “transactional” work.
Jennifer explains, “The future and what I love is licensing. We have so many licenses that we hold for individual talent. We have DT. We have direct to retail.”
Managing a Diversified Talent Pool
Jennifer Powell shares, “The young agents that we’ve brought on are really important. I want to say the young interns and the team members that are being brought on are so important to us and to be able to listen to them and talk to them to see who’s coming up.”
Jennifer’s three teenagers also give her insight into new trends and influencers.
To stay on top of relationship building, Jennifer frequently encourages her younger agents to travel to see clients in person, as the connections and relationships built this way are much stronger. Phone calls are another way the Jennifer Powell, Inc. team connects with clients because it’s much easier to get to know the agent and brand this way.
The Current State of the Creator Economy
Jennifer Powell is excited about the current state of the creator economy because she feels that it is an industry that is finally being validated and recognized for its immense power.
She explains, “This a business. We all knew it was real, but a lot of people weren’t taking it seriously for a very long time. To see these new platforms come up and to see new creators be born is so exciting.”
The flexibility of content creation is another exciting aspect, as someone can launch a business and run it entirely from home, regardless of where they live.
Live Selling & The Importance of Owning Your Audience
Live selling is an emerging trend in the creator economy that Jennifer is thrilled to see taking off. She shares that not every creator can live sell successfully, but those that do often see massive ROI in the moment, an exciting prospect.
Live selling ties in the importance of creators having a website and newsletter – two ways that creators can own their audience, rather than only connecting with their viewers on social media platforms they have no ownership of.
Jennifer says, “We’ve seen amazing ROI and conversion through newsletter and affiliate links and things on that. I think those are just some of the tools we’ve used recently to be able to grow and sell… You just have to have that [a website] as foundation of all the other things, even if Instagram or TikTok is your thing. Make sure you have a place for people to go back.”
Unfortunately, creators can lose their social media platforms. Having all your eggs in one basket is dangerous for creators as the platform could kick you off or change its algorithm, making it challenging to reach your audience.
Protect yourself by building an email list and website so you can always connect with your audience.
The Importance of Authenticity
A creator may be able to grow their platform without authenticity initially, but this is liable to cause burnout.
Jennifer shares, “That’s not a long-term business strategy. That’s like, I need money right now and to sort of grind it out. I’d give up the short-term money for long-term success any day and I think that’s really important. There’s an element of this industry that’s a money grab, and that is so repelling for followers.”
To avoid this, Jennifer coaches her talent on creating consistent, long-term strategies built on authentic content with real thought put into it.
Her hope for young creators who achieve success quickly is that they will find a seasoned agency or manager to help them build a sustainable business that won’t crash and burn.
The Future of Jennifer Powell, Inc.
Jennifer sees her company acquiring more agencies to expand their infrastructure and services in the next three to five years.
In the future, she anticipates building a licensing team with a full suite of tools and support for digital creators. She also hopes to become an advisor for more businesses.
Her Advice for Startups
For startups interested in influencer marketing, Jennifer stresses that it’s necessary to include creator talent as part of your marketing strategy.
Influencer marketing helps brands introduce themselves to the world.
Jennifer explains, “I think micro and nanos [influencers] can be meaningful to a startup. Putt them on for maybe monthly content, even if it’s UGC, and ask them to use their assets for your channels – them posting too, but asking to use the assets.”
Using content in every possible way helps companies maximize their reach with a smaller budget, especially brands just starting out.
She recommends that startups immediately create social media accounts with all their handles early on, even if they don’t plan on actively posting to everything just yet. Have it ready as an option for your business in the future.
A Final Message to Talents, Brand Partners, and the Industry
Jennifer says, “Be curious and look and see what’s out there. Stay true to what you’re doing. There is so much opportunity to collaborate and dream big and see what artists out there are doing that make sense for your brand to work with.”
The world is at your fingertips, so stay curious and step outside the box.