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From model to award winning entrepreneur and CEO of a tech company, Taryn Williams is not your average business owner. For Taryn, there’s no such thing as ‘nine to five’, but she loves every minute running WINK Models and online juggernaut, The Right Fit. She’s fierce, determined, strong and passionate, and she’s not shy when it comes to opening about the trials and tribulations of launching a business as a woman in a male-dominated industry.

What was life like before launching The Right Fit? 
I founded my first business, WINK Models, 10 years ago after working as a model and producer myself for five years. I have always been incredibly passionate about the creative community and love getting to work with talented and game-changing people. My life has always been pretty crazy, I won’t lie, I’ve always been an entrepreneur, so I’ve never had the normal nine to five!

What is The Right Fit?
Theright.fit is an online marketplace for creative talent; think of it like the Uber or Airtasker for top tier, fully screened creative talent! We have everything from photographers and models to influencers and content creators, anything and everything you need to bring your creative campaign to life. We have over 6500 profiles on the platform and work with brands like Coca-Cola, Bras N Things, 2XU, LG and Chandon, right through to startups shooting their first campaign or trying out their first influencer brief.

Was there a lightbulb moment or was it a series of events that inspired you to launch The Right Fit?
I could see the industry was ripe for disruption. There was a move towards smaller bits of snackable digital content in advertising, to feed on social channels. There was a requirement for more relatable talent in campaigns, and the advent of social media influencers. I could see there was a place for a safe and easy way for people to find and engage with creative talent to bring their campaigns to life, and for talent to safely build a brand and monetise that online. From there, theright.fit was born!

What has business been like since launching The Right Fit in 2016?
It’s been amazing, overwhelming, daunting, exciting… full of twists and turns I could never have predicted when starting out. We’ve grown exponentially and that comes with its challenges; trying to build an international team, adding new product features, expanding our talent offering and extending our geographic footprint. I still pinch myself some days that we have come so far in such a short period!

What does a week in your shoes look like now?
Generally, I split my time between Sydney and Melbourne, so I’ll spend a few days in our Darlinghurst office, then a few days in our South Yarra office. I try to train at least three days a week as keeping healthy allows me to do my job to the best of my ability. I speak at a lot of conferences and events too. On a day to day basis, my time is split between product development, sales and marketing, and financial modelling. I love the diversity of my role and that every day and week is different. I’m constantly learning and developing and yes, it can be exhausting, but I love it!

How did you learn how to relinquish control, delegate and embrace outsourcing?
I had a real lightbulb moment where I realised I was the bottleneck in my first company, and that I was actually prohibiting the company from growing, and that I had to learn to delegate. Now, I am all about surrounding myself with the brightest minds and best in breed from day one. Not only does it make for a better company, but it inspires me to come to work every day to be around individuals who are constantly challenging me and helping me step up my game!

How did you generate funding to launch The Right Fit and what were some of the obstacles getting it off the ground?
We raised $750k in seed capital with Airtree VC and some strategic partners. I funded the initial development and first few employees prior to raising capital, to ensure we had a proof of concept before we went to seek funding. Launching a high growth tech company comes with so many hurdles, from finding the right team (especially developers!) at the right time, getting product-market fit, prioritising new features... the list goes on!

The Right Fit connects talent with clients, but it’s not just models. What percentage of your business is generated by the influencer market and what’s your take on the rise of influencers?
That’s right, we have photographers, videographers, actors, stylists, dancers, MC’s, musicians, and so much more. I would say about 60% of our business is in some way related to influencers, whether it is creating, seeding or amplifying content. The rise of influencers is incredibly powerful for brands to allow them to create content in a way that resonates with their potential customer, at a time and channel that isn’t jarring to them. $16.4billion is set to be spent on digital marketing in 2018 and a good chunk of that will be influencer marketing. With 71% of consumers more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference, it allows brands to create authentic brand content by trusted ambassadors.

Juggling two businesses must be tough. How do you balance it all?
I have an amazing team! I couldn’t do it without my incredible managing director and partner at WINK, Sage Greenwood, and all of my employees in both businesses. I’m not going to lie, I have no work life balance, and just work ridiculously long hours and have no life, ha! But it’s what I love, and I know it won’t be this pace forever.

What business changes and triumphs can we expect to see from you in 2018?
We’re launching theright.fit into Singapore for our APAC head office which I am really excited about. We have some very exciting partnerships that I can’t reveal just yet, but stand by for some big news mid-year. We are also expanding our talent categories to include professional athletes, experts such as doctors, vets, financial advisors, and celebrities. Exciting times ahead!

The Fashion Advocate x

Taryn Williams interview with The Fashion Advocate on the best influencer platform and modelling

Taryn Williams interview with The Fashion Advocate on the best influencer platform and modelling

 

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