Got a great business idea but don’t know where to start? Or maybe that little voice of doubt in your head is holding you back? Entrepreneur Taryn Williams has some snappy words of advice that could be just what you need to go from concept to ka-ching!
Taryn is the CEO and Founder of WINK Models and influencer platform The Right.Fit – and she is proud to be a ‘disruptor’. With over 15 years’ experience working in the glossy world of modelling, advertising and media, Taryn has built multiple successful businesses by breaking the rules and reinventing broken wheels. Her first success was WINK Models, which she launched as an ambitious 21 year-old (it now has more than 650 models on its books). Taryn then launched her hit influencer and talent platform TheRight.Fit in 2016, filling a market gap as a one-stop shop where advertisers could build entire campaigns from the best talent pool in the business.
Here, Taryn explains why she chose to disrupt her own industry, offers sage advice to women starting their own business in an emerging space, and explains the importance of women needing to pave the way for themselves.
‘No’ wasn’t an option for you. How did you pave your own way?
“I started in the modelling industry at 15, and then working as a producer at 19 (events and advertising photographic campaigns). I just loved the industry. But there were so many inefficiencies and inequalities! I couldn’t understand why it took months for models to get paid, or why agencies wouldn’t embrace technology to expedite the booking and casting process. So I decided to pave my own way and launch my first business, WINK models, at just 21 years old. We now have over 650 models Australia-wide, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, have built the very first industry model management app, and pay our models within 7 days. I guess with the blissful naivety of youth – I didn’t know ‘not’ doing it was an option!”
You work with a lot of celebrities and influencers. What are the common ‘success’ traits they share?
“Whilst the celebrities and influencers are all very different, there are some common traits that these people possess and I think are incredibly important for anyone seeking to be successful.
♥ They are incredibly driven and focused, and clear on what they want to achieve and what it takes to get there.
♥ They honour their commitments and understand the importance of their brand.
♥ They align with brands and people who match their values.
“Some great examples of this are Dan Conn, influencer, ex Sydney Roosters Player, who has created fantastic brand online in the health and fitness space and as Global Fitness Director of F45, who’s speaking at the ‘Selfie to Superstar’ Vivid Ideas event with me in June. Also Maz Compton, radio/celeb, who’s passionate about telling brand stories in a really authentic way, hence the launch of new live news stream. There’s so many more – actor Kris Smith, media personality Jackie Gillies, Matt De Groot from Yahoo Be and Nova, celebrity chefs, the list goes on – they’re all such passionate and hard-working individuals.”
What advice do you have for women planning their start-up?
Make a plan: “I think it’s incredibly important to map out a business plan and financial model before you get started on launching a business, to get clarity about what you are trying to achieve and also what it will take to get you there (and how you are going to fund it!).”
Track milestones: “From there, set out small but achievable key milestones and report against these to ensure you are keeping yourself and your team accountable, and checking that you are on the right path.”
Remember your unique selling point: “It’s also really important to check in with the market – your customers – and ensure you are actually solving the problem you set out to solve.”
Evolve and pivot: “Make sure you’re constantly improving and iterating on the product. Know when to pivot if something isn’t working.”
Embrace your inner tech geek: “You need to learn to love the data – know every single important key metric in your business, and report against these.”
What common obstacles prevent people from paving their own path?
“I commonly hear ‘I’m going to launch my business when….’ Let me tell you, there is NEVER going to be a right time. There will always be an obstacle of some kind. Your children will never be the right age, you won’t ever have the right amount of money in the bank, you won’t ever feel 100% ready.
My advice? Just get started!
Obviously, do your research, set a plan, and do your due diligence. But launching a business or being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, it isn’t supposed to feel comfortable – if it was, everyone would do it! You need to learn to get comfortable with that discomfort, and surround yourself with the people who can help you thrive and scale, and ‘go all in’. Better to know, than always wonder right?”
ABOUT: Taryn Williams is passionate about the education of women in tech and the growth of the Australian start-up ecosystem. She is talking about how she started her talent business and the value of social disruption at the upcoming Yahoo7 x Vivid Ideas ‘Selfie to Superstar’ event. Get your tickets here.
Taryn launched TheRight.Fit in 2016 an influencer and talent platform and it skyrocket, with advertising agencies and brands booking entire campaigns onlinto efficiently book entire campaigns selecting the best and brightest talent. The online platform aims to revolutionise the talent industry by cutting out the middleman and removing hidden commissions and bias. With a focus on control, simplicity and efficiency, it puts power back into the user’s hands allowing for a single, online transaction.