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Co-founder of DBA, Raina Penchansky, this super-mama #LADYBOSS is one to take notes from! She is the talented all business  mama behind this powerful agency repping some of the biggest names in social media.  We were super excited to sit down with her, and pick her brain on what’s happening in the industry.

Can you tell us a about little about DBA Management?

We started our company five years ago when no one was talking about non traditional influencers and we now have offices in NY, LA, Milan, and Hong Kong and manage a roster of insanely talented content creators and influencers in the fashion, food, shelter and lifestyle spaces.  Our focus is helping people build their brand vision offline as well as online.

And why did you start the agency? What were your objectives and goals? What was the gap you saw in the market?

DBA really came from a place of being inspired by what fashion bloggers were doing at the time. I was at Coach with Vanessa Flaherty who’s now Vice President of talent at DBA and my partner Karen Robinovitz was a consultant and we did a handbag collaboration with a few fashion bloggers which at the time was a very new idea and the entire process felt really fresh.  We saw first hand what our branding and marketing expertise coupled with their creativity could do.  Our goal then is the same now, we have to add value.  We dedicate ourselves to our clients and to making a significant impact in evolving the way people see digital talent.

DBA really came from a place of being inspired by what fashion bloggers were doing at the time. We saw first hand what our branding and marketing expertise coupled with their creativity could do.  Our goal then is the same now, we have to add value.

What has been your experience building this brand as a co-founder?

Evolution and consistency are the most important factors in the growth of our brand.  We continue to stay true to our core values because that’s what got us to this place but its also just as important to constantly evolve.

What is your role at DBA ?

My role at DBA is focused on growth and strategy, both for DBA and our clients.
I work very closely with our talent on helping develop their brand trajectory and longterm vision.  We also recently launched DBP – Digital Brand Products which focuses on product development and e-commerce businesses and that has been a really incredible extension to our business.

How has becoming a mama changed you and your prospective on life and career?

Being a parent gives you immense perspective.  Everything changes so immediately and drastically and that carries over into your decision making process in your career.  Nothing feels quite as precious once you’re a mother.

What projects get you going/inspire you the most these days?

We have a few clients right now developing product lines and that process is endlessly inspiring.   Its incredible to watch someone translate their content and relationship with their audience into a larger product conversation.

What is DBA’s biggest challenge/area for opportunity?

The biggest challenge we face is growing intelligently.  Our space changes so rapidly and being smart about where to put our resources is something we spend a lot of time determining.
 lady kissing baby

How do you see the rise of technology platforms that match brands and influencers together changing the industry, and your role within it?

I think anything that helps an influencer is great, especially if it allows them to be true to their content and audience.  I think people want authentic content and that will be the challenge with anything that isn’t customized.  We all see right through something that doesn’t feel on brand.

What advice do you have for bloggers looking to take their personal brand to the next level?

Know where you want to be in 5 years.  You can’t take anything to the next level without
knowing where you want to end.  Once you can answer that question you can put the pieces in place to get you there.  That could mean building a team around you, changing your content strategy, etc. but it all starts with where you want your brand to be.

Know where you want to be in 5 years……Once you can answer that question you can put the pieces in place to get you there.

Is there anyone who has been a mentor to you?  Do you mentor others?

My parents have been amazing mentors and instilled in me the importance of humor and intelligence. Reed Krakoff was the ultimate mentor at Coach. I learned things from him I still apply almost daily.

What does DBA look for in potential clients?

There’s no real formula to it. Each manager looks for something that resonates with them specifically. Overarchingly someone with a formed  point of view, understanding of their audience and the desire to grow and expand their brand.

Is there a certain number of followers/other key indicators you look for before taking someone on?

Size of audience is important but content is more important. Good content always rises to the top and audience builds from there.

How do you see the influencer market changing over the next year?  What’s the next big social platform you see brands gravitating to?  Is Periscope a focus?

Influencer marketing will become more targeted. With the influx of so many channels and content creators, niche will become important to cut through the clutter. Instagram will continue to be important and snapchat is becoming more and more prominent. I’ll be interested to see if Casey Neistat’s Beme catches on.

Influencer marketing will become more targeted. With the influx of so many channels and content creators, niche will become important to cut through the clutter.

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