There are several steps one can follow to be made into a star online and offline. Leslie Tsang has been in the industry since the start of Hong Kong’s influencer scene and tells us what it takes to become in the digital era
Leslie Tsang is a busy woman. She is the managing director of Fineapple Asia, a talent and artist management company based in Hong Kong, and founder of luxury cashmere wear brand Movers & Cashmere. With extensive experience in managing high-profile artists such as Shu Qi and now influencers such as Sham Yuet, Tsang’s consultancy firm may be one of the first to integrate a full artificial intelligence (AI) service into their operations.
With a local entertainment scene that is booming again thanks to the Cantopop craze lead by boyband Mirror- Tsang’s agency is always on the lookout for more talents, specifically new, young faces and personalities with an edge. Whether the talent is identified through friends’ introductions or scouring Instagram, here are the steps Tsang takes to grow their fame and following.
Steps to stardom
Step one – strategise
Fineapple implements a unique approach of encorporating AI into data mining to build a strategy. “First there is a lot of back and forth between us and the personality,” she says. “Before we start, there is an [extensive] Q&A as to what they want to do, what their goals are and so on.” By understanding the wishes of the artist and using AI for further market research and analysis, the team finalises on a plan. Marketing and artist management expertise plus the AI, Tsang says, brings about a modern approach to the field of talent management. A digital approach, she is convinced, that other talent management agencies have not fully explored as of yet.
Step two – lay out foundation and position artist
Whether it is singing, acting or even baking, it is imperative to find the person’s talent. For example, it is important to find the right song for a singer to mark them into the public’s consciousness.
It is about creating the persona and identifying their range as to what areas they are best suited to grow in. Once you have identified the position of your talent in the market, Tsang adds, you need to start building the foundation. It is about creating the persona and identifying their range as to what areas they are best suited to grow in. Just like an upcoming singer needs its breakout song, an influencer wanting to work with luxury brands will be required to look the part by offering a distinctive look or charm.
Which brings up the cultivation of a unique personality. Time to properly build the content varies from person to person. Tsang explains, “It could be pretty quick if you have the right song [for the singer], and you have the right campaign [for the influencer or model] because once you have everything in place and a campaign going, everything moves very quickly.”
Step four – build the content
Oftentimes the lines between being artists and digital influencers are blurred. Because of this, its imporant to balance the involvement of the individual in both areas. “Our goal is to have artists [get] more involved in being an influencer in a way, but for an influencer to also look more like an artist,” Tsang says.
It all comes down to a few key traits: humility, passion and the willingness to put tremendous amount of effort into your career. “Effort is very important nowadays in the entertainment industry. One has to bring even more effort now because you have to man your own digital content. You have to be engaged all the time.”
Good communication is a battle half won
Ultimately, a good manager is an enabler, according to Tsang. ”There’s a lot of explaining to do in the sense that you explain to them why things happen like that. Why the client wants this. Explain the brand’s process and how they get approval.”
Understanding the needs of the brands and on the opposite end the talents is the start to good communication. In addition, trust between the artist and the manager is imperative. “It’s very important both ways. It takes a lot of communication and trusting each other and having an open mind.”