Thousands of followers on Instagram, thousands of views on snapchat and a constantly updated blog and feed, influencers juggle a variety of social media channels but there’s a dedicated team behind that selfie that keeps all those likes and numbers ticking.
25 year old Genevieve Day, founder and director of Day Management, is the modern day career woman. With a PR degree behind her, six years of work experience and a slew of industry connections she kept close, Day Management was born in 2015. A bespoke agency, representing leading social influencers and digital personalities from fashion, beauty and lifestyle markets, Day Management has taken on Melbourne talent with extraordinary success: a combined 1.5 million followers between her talents and a refreshingly balanced mix of men and women represented.
I caught up with Gen to discuss the evolution from intern to being her own boss, her biggest mistakes, the challenges of influencer marketing and how she’s finally reaping all the benefits.
What it felt like starting her own company at 23 years old
“I started out in public relations for a luxury travel agency way back in 2010. I was a fresh-faced 18 year old, and loved every part of the industry. I was lucky enough to work on some amazing clients, from five star resorts to coveted beauty products and worked my way up from an intern to a Senior Account Manager. During that time, I saw a shift in the media landscape, and an increased focus on digital. We were working more and more with bloggers and influencers, and at this time they weren’t charging for content. I noticed a gap in the market, especially here in Melbourne, and Day Management was born in May, 2015”.
“I was lucky that from my PR job I had established a lot of connections with bloggers and influencers. I knew them personally, and also professionally, so they already trusted my abilities – as a publicist at least! My very first influencer was the lovely Josie Barber. Over a wine one evening she agreed to be my Day Mgmt guinea pig. It’s been over two years and we have worked on what feels like hundreds of campaigns together. It’s been a real highlight watching the talent that I started with grow and succeed. When I first signed Twice Blessed they had an audience of 35,000 which today is now 125,000. Kristy Who was on 17,000 and now boasts over 118,000 followers”.
The challenges and the mistakes
“The biggest challenge was always to prove the value in influencer marketing and the ROI. As it’s geared towards generating awareness rather than immediate sales, this takes time. Now that Instagram has introduced the analytics feature – that definitely helps prove why we do what we do, works! It’s exciting because it’s still a new, growing arena. It’s changing all the time, and it’s fun to ride the rollercoaster”.
“I don’t think I’d change anything about my journey. I’ve learnt so many skills on the job, and made a lot of mistakes along the way, but that’s all been so formative to who I am and what Day Management is, so I wouldn’t want to change a thing! …wait. Maybe I’d learn to delegate more. I’ve always been a bit of a control freak, especially over my baby that is my business, so I probably should have learnt to hand over tasks to our wonderful staff members earlier on”.
The role of a founder, director, HR, social media manager, etc
“I’m the Founder and Director of Day Management. Being a boutique agency, that also makes me the accounts team, HR, social media manager and head of IT. When you run your own business, you have to be a jack of all trades! Another beauty of being an entrepreneur and business owner is that there is no standard day. No 9 – 5”.
“I usually start the day scrolling through Instagram to see any posts that have gone live overnight. Then I’ll jump on the emails, responding to brands and make sure all of our campaigns and collaborations are on track. Most days I’ll have a conference call or meeting with one, or more, of my talent. Sometimes I’ll pop into a photoshoot or filming as well. I’ll spend my afternoon downing multiple coffees and replying to more emails – my inbox definitely gets a little crazy sometimes. I might finish the day attending a restaurant opening or brand launch to further connect with like-minded brands and agencies in the industry”.
The scrutiny that comes with being an influencer
“We’ve always focused on being organic in our promotional posts. If an influencer leads a healthy, fit lifestyle such as Spoonful of Sarah, then we wouldn’t encourage her to promote junk food for example. Just as with our blogger, A Broke Girls Blog, we wouldn’t encourage her to promote Gucci or really expensive labels”.
“We ensure that all of our influencers have a clear message and clear tone of voice,and if a brand doesn’t fit in with that message, we don’t collaborate with them. When done successfully between like-minded brands and talent, that’s when we see the best results”.
The collaborations that made her proud
“There have been some nice big projects we worked on, such as Twice Blessed and Sam Wines being the ambassadors for the 2017 Portsea Polo, or Kristy Who as the official Style Ambassador for the launch of St Collins Lane. Seeing her face on a massive billboard in Federation Square from a collaboration we’d worked on since the inception made me pretty proud”.
“Just this week we were also able to announce Kristy Who and Thomas Davenport as the faces of this year’s Melbourne Fashion Festival. It’s always great with these larger collaborations to be recognised, and even better when both ambassadors are from our agency!”.
and the weird ones…
“We definitely receive some weird requests, which we politely decline. Some requests for racy, intimate photos and strange app proposals – but I won’t name names!”.
How she wants to make men more involved
“We represent a range of influencers, both guys and girls, within the fashion and lifestyle space. When starting the agency, we exclusively represented female talent but found a growing need for male influencers. Now out of our 15 talent, 5 of these are boys. This allows us to cater to a whole separate market with men’s fashion, grooming and lifestyle products and further differentiates us in the marketplace”.
On how it will all pay off eventually
“A lot of people often ask for my advice for setting up their own agencies or businesses. Ultimately it all comes down to hard work, with any job. Do the hard yards while learning from the best before jumping out on your own. I learnt a lot of skills from my 6 years in PR that I draw on, even sometimes subconsciously, and this definitely has helped me in my business decisions”.
“I’m always pleasantly surprised at how much my hard work from when I first started the agency is paying off now. In May, 2015 being a digital talent manager was a very new concept. So was earning a decent income off social media! I was pounding the pavement, taking a lot of meetings and doing everything I could to promote my talent at Day Mgmt. Two years down the track, we’re still benefitting from those connections and business relationships, and I’m very glad 2015 Gen was so tenacious for 2017 Gen to reap the benefits”.
And how you gotta risk it to get the biscuit…
“For those looking to make the leap, there are a few steps to take before starting your own empire. I’d identify your point of difference in the market. How are you different? How are you better? Why would people want to work with, or for, you? Once you have those clear answers, then it just comes down to being brave enough to take the leap”.
“A lot of it comes down to being brave enough to take the risk, and strong enough to stick it out. Running your own business is exhausting and stressful and testing and draining, but at the end of the day it’s incredibly rewarding. I love it, and I don’t think I could ever go back to doing anything else”.