Each day in the life of a creative talent agent differs from the next. I may spend one day traveling through Los Angeles from one meeting to another while the day before was spent glued to my desk at my computer, responding to emails, answering calls, creating bids, invoicing clients, etc. I have an ongoing daily to-do list and add new tasks based on priority as they come up. Working as a talent agent is not a typical 9-5 job.
Many of our clients are based internationally so my body’s natural alarm clock goes off around 3 o’clock in the morning to make sure I get to any urgent emails that may have come in throughout the night. Then it’s back to sleep for a few hours before getting up to make my coffee and look over my to-do list for the day. I go through and respond to the emails that came in while I was asleep and look over the agency calendar. I first check in with each artist who is working that day to make sure they are 100% prepared for their shoot. I then review the next few days and touch base with the artists and clients who have upcoming shoots. As an agent, it is crucial to check in regularly with clients to get a very clear understanding of what their expectations are so that the artists I represent can be overly prepared for every job.
Since I am based in Los Angeles, I like to begin working on pitch and follow-up emails at 10:00am because the majority of our clients are in the office at that time regardless of what coast they are on. I work with my artists and team to create personalized digital promo pieces with relevant and strong images to target each market our artists specialize in (see accompanying images for example). I send the appropriate pieces out to each client with personalized updates to keep our talents’ work fresh in their minds. I utilize Agency Access to make targeted lists for each artist and then organize the contacts and set reminders to update them using a CRM software called Daylite. I keep notes of prior correspondence with all clients organized by date so that I can keep track of our relationship as it builds.
Lunchtime approaches and I have a meeting scheduled with a label looking for a team to shoot an upcoming album cover for one of their artists. I grab my iPad containing our artist portfolios and leave early to make sure I arrive with time to spare. We meet and discuss creative concepts, go through portfolios, and put together a plan to move forward. Lunch concludes and as we wrap up, the client requests an estimate for the shoot by the end of the day. I hit the road and start making calls from my headset so that I can begin the estimate as soon as I get back to my computer.
It is 2:00pm and I am working on the estimate for the label when the phone rings. It is an advertising agency asking for estimates for a full team to work on a rebrand campaign for a major Las Vegas hotel. They require quotations for 3 different shoots that are a part of the rebrand and let me know that they have 2 other teams bidding on the project. I tell them that I will have the quotations over to them by the end of the day and hang up. I wrap up the estimate for the label and begin working on the quotations for the advertising agency.
It is standard protocol for most advertising agencies to get bids from at least 3 photos teams when developing a campaign. I go out of my way to send back these requests as soon as possible to show that we are eager to work with them and to leave room for adjustments that need to be made. 4:00pm is approaching and I continue taking calls and responding to emails as I power through the quotations for the campaign.
I wrap up the estimates for the advertising campaign and send them to the art director for the shoot. I update my to-do list to follow up with the label and advertising agency, then I catch up on the last of my unread emails for the day. It is 7:00pm and time to leave for an exhibit featuring one of my photographers’ images. I write out a new to-do list for the following day, grab my iPad and am on back on the road. On the way to the gallery, I check in with my artists who had shoots during the day to see how they went. One of the wardrobe stylists I speak with asks me if I can meet for drinks after the gallery around 10:00pm so I set a reminder and plan accordingly.
Having a schedule that can change with one phone call or email means I need the ability to work on the go at all times. I am always working from my cell phone and have the office line forwarded to it when there is no one in to answer. My email is set up on my mobile phone and iPad so that I can continue working regardless of where my day takes me. I also utilize Google Drive, an application that is similar to Microsoft Office but exists in a cloud and allows me to create, edit and share files with my artists and clients from anywhere. I use an Internet based calendar system to maintain a schedule for each artist we represent, allowing me to check their availability at all times.
It is midnight when I arrive home from my night of networking. I check my emails one last time and run through my to-do list for tomorrow in my head as I get ready for bed. As I drift off, I plan my follow up emails to clients and anticipate the week ahead of me. I enjoy my slumber until my natural alarm clock goes off again, beginning the routine for the next day.
Danielle Gruberger has had a love for photography, fashion and beauty her entire life. At a young age she realized that her true dream was to combine her passions and represent the best creative talent in the industry. Danielle worked hard to make her vision a reality and built a roster of some of the most talented and sought-after celebrity, fashion, sports and advertising photographers in the industry. As her company DGReps developed and her client base began to expand, she was able to acquire some of the industry’s leading wardrobe stylists, makeup artists and hair stylists. DGReps is now known as one of the most diverse creative talent firms in Los Angeles.
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