Welcome to Interview #1 of our Manager Interview Series! This series deep dives into the creative and commercial lives of some of the most successful managers in the creator economy!
Let’s dive straight in!
Could you introduce yourself?
I’m Zack Honarvar — founder of One Day Entertainment (ODE), a diversified entertainment and media company in Los Angeles. We’re known for representing some of the most-respected creator brands such as Yes Theory, Airrack, and the Cheeky Boyos.
Me and my team have facilitated deals with some of the biggest studios, brands, and talent in Hollywood — from lululemon to Will Smith to Google. We’ve also been able to make a series of lucrative investments on behalf of our clients, build massive creator apparel brands, and develop distribution strategies for documentary content.
I want to empower creators and entrepreneurs to "do better business" and take bets on themselves, so that they can turn their creative talents into real, lasting impact and wealth.
What got you started in talent management? What led you to your current role?
I was best friends with the Yes Theory guys. I would hangout with them every time I was in Los Angeles and would help them with business strategy and decisions. Eventually, that organically grew into an opportunity to take on the role of a manager. It then prompted me to start my own business—helping other creators with the lessons and experiences I had picked up working with Yes Theory.
Could you walk us through some of the key daily tasks you perform for your clients?
My favorite tasks are long term strategy and direction. Sitting with creators and brainstorming how to get to their 12-24 month vision—whether that involves monetary goals, subscriber goals, or even just personal achievements, I spend a lot of time putting a plan in place for big dreams and ambitions.
On a more routine basis, my team and I structure business plans for new companies that creators want to start, negotiate brand deals, and help manage their internal business: from hiring, accounting, legal, to broader operational system design.
What's the one thing most people don't know about what talent managers do?
We’re also full time life coaches that help our creators with their personal lives.
What are some of the recurring challenges you face as a manager?
As a manager, your role is to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Having so much to juggle at once makes it challenging to simultaneously think about the bigger picture.
What are some of the tools you use to streamline your workflow? Walk us through your current tool stack.
Notion, Google Docs, Gusto.
What are some of the common traits you’ve seen among successful managers?
Entrepreneurial spirit, organization, sales skills, verbal and written communication.
What are some of the most pressing challenges creators face today?
Developing a community and maintaining long lasting emotional engagement with that community.
How do you help clients diversify their revenue streams?
By helping them start new businesses that can live beyond their channel.
What is the most practical advice you can give to creators who are just starting out?
Stay consistent. Publish weekly videos and join Creator Now to access a community of other creators who are passionate about the same things you are.
What are some of the common traits you’ve seen among successful creators?
Storytelling. Audience empathy.
What is the best way to scale a creator’s career?
Build a team. Increase output and streamline internal processes.
When do you decide it's time to onboard a team? How do you go about it?
Immediately. Find good people and incentivize them to put their heart and soul into the opportunity.
Beyond a manager, what is the first role that a creator usually needs to hire for?
How do you know which creators to collaborate with?
I ask myself If I can imagine talking to that person every single day.
What is the current Achilles heel of the creator economy?
People in tech treat creators a little too much like start-ups without realizing the complexities that come with dealing with creative talent.
If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing when you got started, what would it be?
Sign a contract with internal employees, creator clients, and external partners at all times. Get things down in writing to ensure expectations are aligned.
What's coming up next for you? anything you’d like to plug?
Creator Now — a film school reimagined for digital creators.