L.A. native Lisa Blas was the first employee at the health, wellness, and lifestyle influencer management company Neon Rose Agency. Previously, she worked in entertainment and music but always wanted to pursue talent management.
Lisa Blas shares, “As of January this year, I’m now Director of Talent Partnership. I still manage my talent, and I help our managers with high-level negotiations or any strategy issues they have… Recently, a lot of my work has turned into nurturing a lot of our brand and agency relationships.”
Lisa Blas, Director Of Talent Partnerships At Neon Rose Agency: Fostering Effective Brand-Influencer Relationships
Creating Long-Lasting, Effective Brand & Influencer Relationships
Some key tenets at Neon Rose for fostering strong brand and influencer relationships are transparency and open communication.
For open communication, the Neon Rose team proactively works to keep brands and influencers aligned with their goals. If an influencer isn’t interested in taking on a brand deal, the team asks for specific feedback on if it’s the timing, deliverable, budget, scope, etc.
These questions allow them to match influencers to future brand deals better and prevent anyone from feeling pressure to accept an offer due to social pressures.
Lisa explains, “We really live in a fast-paced industry, and we want to ensure that our clients feel comfortable talking to us. We want to make sure that we’re checking in with them and in on their wellbeing and mental health.”
Neon Rose coordinators advocate for their talent, securing the best possible deal and ensuring everything fits into their schedule comfortably. This setup prevents rushed work and unnecessary stress.
This close communication also gives the coordinators unique insight into their talents’ lives. For example, if an influencer is planning on having a baby, open communication allows the individual to comfortably share these details with their coordinator, which can open up the door for different partnerships in the future.
Lisa also stressed the importance of meeting in person. While emails help, in-person conversations are ideal for fostering more extraordinary relationships.
The Evolution of the Creator Economy
While the creator economy has changed a lot, Lisa Blas notices that trends continue to come back around.
For example, static posts were pushed to the side while reels took center stage, but now static posts are experiencing new interest in the form of photo dumps. This content coming back in style is especially great for content creators who aren’t as comfortable editing videos.
Lisa shares, “I think that’s also an interesting side of the industry. You really have to keep up with all the trends, like learning how to edit. With that said, I do think that video content is still super important. I think so many brands are investing a lot of money in the coming year into all platforms with video content.”
Raw and unfiltered content is also gaining momentum. While everyone loves a curated feed, those raw moments on camera create deeper authenticity and communication between a creator and their audience.
Short-Form vs. Long-Form Content
Audiences have shorter attention spans, which is why many experts, like Lisa Blas, suspect short-form video content will continue to grow in popularity.
However, long-form video content still has a strong viewership, especially on YouTube, and blogs are relevant to many industries, such as food and travel niches.
Watch out for YouTube Shorts. Lisa reports that more brand partners and agencies are starting conversations around YouTube Shorts, which haven’t had the same attention from brands for paid partnerships that other short-form video platforms currently have.
How Can Brands Use Micro-Influencers to Achieve Their Goals?
Neon Rose primarily represents influencers in the health and wellness industry but has opened up to a few creators who aren’t specifically in that niche, such as van-life creators.
Recently, van-life creators have soared in popularity in the travel niche, opening up exciting brand opportunities. Neon Rose’s roster has worked with large companies like The North Face, the Free People Movement, and Laura Mercier.
When working with micro-influencers, Lisa recommends taking a step back to look at how you plan on incorporating the creator’s content into your marketing.
Lisa Blas explains, “I think it’s a good idea to evaluate your usage goals. Does it make sense to add some extra spend to boost their [the micro-influencers] content to reach your target audience or to reach your campaign goals? Is it worth having them create extra UGC content so they [the brand] can utilize it?”
Building a Personal Brand as a Creator
The biggest step to building your personal brand is to be unique.
Lisa Blas advises creators to identify their main goals and create content that fits them rather than following trends.
Lisa says, “That’s definitely the key – making sure you’re not copying other people, but making your own spin on it.”
This unique spin creates a more engaged audience because they know you will do something different and thought-provoking.
The Benefits and Risks of Influencer Brands
At Neon Rose, Lisa loves supporting clients interested in launching a brand. Typically, this is achieved by collaborating with an established brand or founding your brand from the ground up.
For influencers working alongside an established brand, this allows them to focus heavily on their product without worrying about managing the business side of everything.
On the other hand, creators who launch their brands have complete freedom to launch whatever products they’d like but take on much more financial risk.
The Most Important Metrics for Measuring ROI
Lisa Blas shares, “This year has really leaned into conversion data. I feel like that was our buzzword at the beginning of the year when we started doing our 2023 strategy conversations with all our clients. We need conversion data, and the hard balance has been that not every brand or agency wants to share that data.”
The Neon Rose team requests data whenever possible from brands so they can provide feedback and direction for their creators.
Lisa also emphasized that brand awareness is critical. This metric is difficult to measure but leads to many sales, especially after repeatedly exposing consumers to a product. Affiliate platforms can help track brand awareness, but ultimately, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of brand awareness for sales.
AI Technology & Influencer Marketing
AI technology has been a hot topic, but Lisa shares that she has taken time to adopt it, especially regarding emails. She prioritizes personalization and feels that AI-written emails remove some of the magic and connection she otherwise fosters. Many creators she knows aren’t using AI or are using it to help with research.
However, she has found AI note-taking tools handy for recording action items and notes for every meeting she takes.
Changes in the Creator Economy
Lisa Blas loves the raw emotions and authentic content being pushed by the industry at the moment.
She shares, “I really want to see that brands and agencies trust their creators to be a little more creative. That’s something I’d really love to see – the openness and transparency. I think that at Neon Rose, we really try to lean into that and trust the process.”