Influencer Agencies: A Tell All

As many of you might know, I started the conversation about menswear back in the early days of Instagram. Prior to Instagram, I was part of Blogger and had an account with Lookbook.nu. These sites served as platforms at the start of my journey in the menswear and lifestyle world. However, when Instagram came into my life in the late 2011 and early 2012, it made it irrelevant to continue with the other platforms. Instagram grew and so did I. Since I started I have consistently held one of the most followed menswear accounts on Instagram (@mensfashionpost). This is when the business to blogging became a reality and with it came the many influencer agencies.

Currently there are many great influencer agencies that have risen to the top because of their professionalism and their commitment to perfection. One of them being, Collectively out of San Francisco, California. I am going to tell you guys how Collectively has played a vital role in my career as an influencer, but before I tell you guys more about Collectively, I would like to give you guys some insights as to how things went down for me back in my early days.

Having a very sought after menswear account on Instagram brought with it hundreds of opportunities. Back then content and creativity did not really matter to your average advertiser. It was mainly a numbers game. If you had the most following, you landed the many advertising campaigns. And in all honesty, I made a really good money simply creating content that did not even meet the lowest of expectations. Which is something that I was and I am not not proud of but at the time it worked. As time passed the amount of followers no longer meant everything to advertisers. As you many know now, content and creativity is everything in today’s world of blogging. Having a large followers base is important but is not the deciding factor. Today, advertisers are looking for genuine creatives that are ‘killing it’ per se. That is where the real struggle came into play for me. Real work had to be accomplished or else I was going to be left behind.

Having said this, I want share how the influencer agency, Collectively, along side other similar agencies came to empower my abilities as a professional creative and influencer. Collectively has always provided the professionalism one must be accustomed to when dealing with legitimate advertisers and contractual agreements. Their communication and campaign briefings are #goals and they are an example of how every influencer agency should be. They are so detailed in every aspect that has always left me without any pending questions or assumptions when working on a campaign. This type of approach has forced me to step up my game and deliver nothing but great work. Like many successful and old timer influencers, my early days were not as polished and refined days. It has taken hard-work, time, and effort to get where I am today. Today I am very proud of the work that I am putting out and it’s thanks to influencer agencies like Collectively that have kept me to the highest of expectations. I do want to share something that I find extremely unprofessional about the poorly managed influencer agencies that are out there and that you should avoid as an influencer.

At Collectively they send out surveys where they ask influencers to respond if interested in an upcoming campaign/activation. This is great because they are giving everyone a chance to enter for consideration. Their approach to connecting the right influencer with the right campaign without giving any favoritism to influencers is something that I love the most about Collectively. As an influencer who puts a lot of time and effort into his work, it is hard to keep up and befriend every single agent at the many influencer agencies. I know networking is key in any business, but it is not to the best interest of an advertisers to have an influencer agencies only provide them with influencers who are friends with the agency. A client should have the ability to select those influencers who best fit their campaign regardless of their personal relationship with the influencer agency. Having an agency that looks at your work and not your friendship with them is a breath of fresh air. There are only a few influencer agencies like Collectively that take this point serious when engaging in campaigns and activations. Collectively’s exceptional human approach and high touch partnerships have empowered my creative spirit to continue produce meaningful content whether is sponsored or not. 

This blog post is mainly for the purpose of shining some light on how your work will speak louder than anything else in today’s blogging world. Also, with agencies like Collectively, you do not have to worry much about being Insta-Famous or the most networked person there is because they will be sure to include you in a campaign that aligns to your work. Being true to your work and knowing how to evolve is something that is important and Collectively has done a great job in guiding and setting the example. I hope you guys can take away something from his blog post and be sure to check out Collectively to learn more about their work at: CollectivelyInc.com

Now let's compare my work from almost two years ago to today:

Saturdaze 😎 #Movado #HelloEdge

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I worked with Movado in pushing their new watch line and I loved the above photo but I acknowledge now that the photo was blurry and did not showcase the watch the way it should have been showcased. Back then I did not pay attention to these types of things because advertisers were able to approve photos that were not the best of quality. Today I cannot afford to push out content that does the advertiser a disservice or is poorly created. The photo below showcases a Daniel Wellington watch. The clarity and the pose do a better job in showcasing the watch. Again, content and creativity is key in today's world. 

Time to start wrapping up my stay in Mexico & head back to Cali. 🌵🌴

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Thank you!

In the Desert with COS

The desert is home for me. Palm Springs always brings the best vibes and thus I was so excited to team up with The Amado to feature their amazing property. While my goal was to enjoy my stay days prior to the holidays in this mid-century modern home, I did get work with the great people of COS to get at least one look in and this is what it looked like:

I really liked the vintage brown color of the suit as it went well with the vintage vibes of the mid-century modern property. The cropped pants and doubled breasted features really added the classical touches. 

This Skagen watch kept the monochromatic look going with a very similar leather strap.

The camel coat did the same as the Skagen watch and continued on the monochromatism. 

These black beatles slip-on leather boots by A. Testino finished the look.  

Thank you COS for this collaboration!

-Eff Ulloa