With a projected market growth of $13.8 billion in 2021, social media influencers and streamers on platforms like Twitch aren’t slowing down. Behind this dramatic growth is a need for services for these influencers, like what business managers offer.
It’s common knowledge that celebrities like movie stars, singers and professional athletes have business managers and management teams to handle finances and brand deals, but what’s the difference between a celebrity with a million followers on Instagram and a social media influencer with a million followers or a streamer who gets millions of views? Aside from the work they do outside of social media, probably not that much.
“I know business managers can vary in what they do depending on the industry their client is in,” said Juan Rodriguez, founder and CEO of Lodgz Financial PLLC. “For myself, being a business manager means keeping their personal and business finances organized, [like] bookkeeping and document retention, ensuring they remain tax compliant, creating and implementing tax planning strategies, managing their corporate structure, and being the intermediary communicator between their private bankers, attorneys and financial advisors.”
Just as pro athletes and celebrities need someone to handle their wealth, a financial advisor or team is beneficial to both influencers and streamers as they grow their platforms and bring in income.
“I don’t think every creative needs a business manager from day one, but I do think it’s an important piece to add as they grow in their career,” said Rodriguez. “I think there are two indicators that should alert creatives for the need of a business manager: first is once the creative goes full-time… they have taken the leap of faith and can afford to live solely off the income produced from their creative channels. Second is once they begin to feel overwhelmed by the complexities of taxes, corporate structure, managing their finances and keeping track of their income and expenses.”
Anyone can, in theory, get rich streaming video games, and top streamers on Twitch like Lirik and Critical Role make anywhere from $2 million to more than $9 million respectively, so having a financial advisor to help save and invest is obviously important in this case, too. These markets have resulted in business management firms that specialize in online industries like streaming and influencing.
“With an emerging industry like this, it takes a great amount of market understanding and deep relationships and trust for equally beneficial deals to occur,” said Rodriguez. “It’s a full-time job to execute both at a high level, and why I believe a separate individual or team should be responsible for it.”