Talent Finders connects YOU to the right people

When I first heard of Talent Finders, I immediately thought of imdb but after discussing it further with their founder, Kerrin Black, I realized it was actually much more. I also realized it could be useful for people in the Entertainment business as well as individuals in various fields who want to be recognized for their talents and find work. Here is their official company profile:

Talentfinders.com is the meeting place for the entertainment community and its worldwide audience. Our vision is to make Talent Finders the most valuable world-wide talent community.

Talentfinders was created in 2007 by Kerrin Black who worked in the film industry. She saw a need to provide a more efficient way of sourcing actors for film productions. What came out of this need is www.talentfinders.com, where all talents that are looking to connect and promote themselves on an international platform can register. Talent seekers can fulfil their requirements by a quick, easy search through one database. 

All Talent needs to be established as a brand and marketed to the audience who needs those talents. www.talentfinders.com provides a simple solution to the branding challenge: It is simple to use, gives comprehensive information about the talent, is easy to update so that all the information is current and accurate and is an affordable marketing medium to a wide international audience.

For the seeker, the site allows the search through multiple genres of talent, is area specific, accurate, efficient and cost effective. No more seeking through multiple genre-specific websites when it can all be done quickly on one site.

The talent spectrum has been broadened over the years from actors and models to include many other talent genres such as musicians, public speakers, dancers and the like. The site was redesigned and re-launched in October 2014 and its positioning in the international market is excellent due to the domain name. Our USP is to market talent to the international markets.

After my initial meeting with Kerrin and once I read the company profile, I wanted to know more about Talent Finders and of course, share it with anyone else who may benefit from it. I was so glad Kerrin agreed to do a short interview so that we could talk about the origins and mission of Talent Finders to give a better understanding.

Q: How did you arrive at the idea for “Talent Finders”?

Kerrin Black: Having worked at a production company behind the scenes I had seen the issues production companies had when it came to castings for commercials. I was watching the Oprah Show when it was still under Harpo Productions, that particular show was on entrepreneurs and I saw what amazing businesses had started with very little. Having worked in the production side of film I realized that there was a need in the market to create an online database whereby talent looking to promote themselves could go on create their profiles, specialty video and voice clips, etc. The idea was to create an online platform for the Talent - Actors, Model’s, Musicians, Sports people, Dancers, Entertainers  and so much more. The idea was to also connect those looking for talent to one central database and give talent exposure to an international audience. I also felt passionate about not only well-known talent but also up and coming talent, exposing them to a world-wide audience. One of Talent Finders benefits is that agents can also place their talent on Talent Finders. We do not bypass the agents or representatives of the individuals, in fact, we encourage the agencies to list their Talent as an added benefit for their talent.

Q: How does “Talent Finders” differ from other platforms like imdb?

KB: The difference with Talent Finders is it is not genre specific, we cover all talent genres. For the User or Talent Seeker to go online and search by category or brief is simple, no matter where in the world the talent is, talent can be found on Talent Finders. It is about connecting the talent seeker to the talent and creating an interactive experience to ensure that the right talent reaches the right people. We are also offering online coaching videos from various specialists in the industry to assist in how to approach important aspects of their business.

Q: What are some of the mistakes you think people make when they are trying to brand themselves as talent?

KB: I think the most fundamental mistake that talent makes is that they don’t treat themselves as a business. If you want to be taken seriously in the entertainment world you have to focus on branding and marketing. The mistake that people make is that they do not invest in themselves – it’s not about being fake, it’s about being true to who you are but to invest in marketing is to invest in looking after your personal brand through exposure on platforms like Talent Finders. Create your logo’s, empower yourself, research the latest trends – the fundamental mistakes always go back to not treating what you do as a business.  Looking at the top entertainers in the world, they not only have great management but they are proactive, they are involved in charity and other businesses, they are aligning themselves with the right people as part of their personal brand. Other mistakes are:

  • No direction – the talent must be passionate about their career choice. Half-hearted gets you nowhere!
  • No logo
  • No image
  • Lack of business knowledge
  • Not prepared with professional marketing material
  • No marketing video
  • No Brand identity
  • Lack of personal and professional growth and training
  • No Coaching
  • Lack of long term vision. Branding is an ongoing, expanding, evolving, trend setting. And making sure your brand has sustainability and longevity
  • Social Media – The management of social media platforms and understanding the does and don’t this is all part branding and has an impact on everything you do. I have seen this so many times, where things need to be consistent and there is a very fine line between controversial and brand damage and brand reputation.

Q: What do you want people to think of when they hear the name “Talent Finders”?

KB: I want people to think of Talent Finders as the place to go to find Talent globally. To be able to find every type of Talent you can think of, wherever you are.  “The Power House of online Talent”.

Q: Where do you see “Talent Finders” in let’s say, 5 or 10 years? 

KB: I see Talent Finders as a Global online empire with millions of talented people connected through one online platform, and my big vision to provide work to both well known talent and undiscovered talent all through a digital stage. The amazon.com of talent!

Nate St. Pierre: Excellent example of Social Media for Social Good

During my three years on Twitter, I have been fortunate enough to come across all sorts of people doing the most amazing things.  From celebrities to the average person, everyone gets inspired in some form or another to do something good with their talents.  That is what we call Social Media for Social Good.  Nate St. Pierre is a perfect example of that effect.  He has been involved in numerous projects where he uses his natural talents as well as his training and background to serve a greater purpose.  He has also sparked others to follow along.  You can find out all about Nate and his numerous projects here.

I have been writing about entertainment and arts for a while and I always try to correlate how my subjects can use their influence for a greater good.  It was a no brain-er to include someone like Nate St. Pierre since, as you will see, he has been using his life in some pretty awesome ways.

Q: Your background includes web design, web development, and marketing.  How did you get interested in projects that help change the world? Did this passion predate the explosion of the web and Social Media?

A: Yep, I spent six years as a web developer and team leader at a successful company in Milwaukee. But it wasn’t until I took on a leadership position there that I realized how much power I had to impact lives in a positive way, and I decided that I wanted to do it on a larger scale. That was back in late 2008. Actually there’s a video detailing the exact moment, here: http://ahamoment.com/moments/1137

Q: The projects you have worked on such as ItStartsWith.Us, Love Drop, and Love Bomb have turned into a team of over 10,000 people, all working for Social Good.  THAT is an impressive accomplishment.  How does this make you feel? Is it something surreal or was it something you hoped for from the beginning?

A: When I really sit down and think about what that means in terms of tangible good done, and number of lives touched (over 1,000,000!), it makes me very thankful that I’ve been able to have such a meaningful impact with the (relatively) low investment of 3 years of work on the projects. Honestly, when I began these projects, I expected them to be even bigger, but with age and experience comes the realization that your estimates for new projects are almost always bigger than they turn out to be. Still, I am VERY happy with the results so far, and glad to be able to continue the work with the help of Joshua and Katie, how lead the teams on a day-to-day basis.

Q: Social Media has a way of developing a life of its own when used properly.  Was this the case with your projects?  Did they take off and run in a direction of their own?

A: I would say yes, especially with Love Drop. The framework of the project turned out as expected, but during the first month we realized that people were very, very excited to give things other than money to the families who needed it, and we were also much happier to give them those things than the money itself. So our gifts and presentations ended up focusing more on the personalized gifts than the funds raised, and I think it made the project and videos a lot more fun.

Q: Tell us a little about each project you have worked on.

A: ItStartsWith.Us is my baby, and I love love love the fact that any one of us can spend 15 minutes a week to make a positive impact in someone’s life, for amazing results. When you tell the team to “fix something,” the interpretations, actions, and results are incredible when everyone interprets it their own way and does something with it.

Love Bomb is the project I’m least involved in, but the one I love the most. To think that you can spend just 5 minutes to read a blog post and write a short response each week, yet literally change or save a life is amazing to me.

Love Drop was so much fun to do, because I got to travel the country with my boy J. Money and help out deserving families. What’s not to love?

Q: What are you working on now?

A: Right now I’m working as the Director of Marketing for a tech start-up in L.A., so my days are pretty busy. J. Money and I are going to partner on something again in the future though, so we’re talking about what that could look like with my new job and his new baby. We’ll figure something out. :)

Q: What have you learned from working on these projects? 

A: I’ve learned that it’s hard work to build something from scratch and use it to make an impact. You have to sacrifice a lot to make it happen. But that’s true with most things worth doing, right? So I’ll count it as a win, and keep on going.

Q: What tips and advice can you give to people who would like to start similar ventures but may not know how or where to begin?

A: I always tell people to find something you love, start small, and stay consistent. The entire ItStartsWith.Us project started that same way, and continues to run on that principle. When I began that project less than 3 years ago, I emailed 18 people a week by hand with the weekly missions. Today my email management software sends out 10,000 emails a week, and the project rolls strong. As Conan said in his farewell show, “if you work really hard, and are kind, amazing things will happen.” [link here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/22/conan-obriens-heartfelt-f_n_433954.html]

I hope you are inspired to use your natural talents or your training to help or start a project of your own.  You can also follow Nate on twitter at @NateStPierre to keep up with all that he is working on.