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How Mahzad Babayan Built a Successful Career Managing Social Media Stars

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

If you didn’t learn a TikTok dance during quarantine, did you even quarantine? Over the past few months, I have spent more time keeping up with the day to day lives of TikTok and YouTube stars than I have with my own friends. Between tie-dying entire wardrobes, pranking parents and trolling Trump rallies, social media stars seem to be taking over the world. But, what’s the key to their success? Meet WrapWomen Next-Gen Ambassador Mahzad Babayan. 

As the Vice President of Talent Management and Partnerships at Fullscreen, Babayan helps identify and develop career paths for digital talent, celebrities, gamers, authors and brands including Cody Ko, Miles McKenna, Alyx Weiss and Elle Mills. Most recently she signed TikTok personalities Mitchell Crawford and SwagboyQ along with YouTube creators Darcei Giles and Yoatzi Castro – just to name a few.

“I love finding talent on Vine and YouTube and using my experience and entrepreneurial thinking to help them develop their career paths,” Babayan told WrapWomen. During a recent interview, the WrapWomen Ambassador opened up about how she got her start working with digital talent, her current projects and what advice she has for young women looking to break into the industry. 

Tell us about your current role. 

I am the Vice President of Talent Management and Partnerships at Fullscreen, a WarnerMedia company. I run the talent management team, which represents about 60 high-profile digital talent, traditional celebrities, authors, athletes, gamers, and brands including Cody Ko, Miles McKenna, Alyx Weiss and Elle Mills, among others. In addition to overseeing a team of 10, I also manage my own roster of talent.

Tell us about some of your current projects and clients you are working with. 

Fullscreen works with a diverse roster of talent spanning from traditional to digital platforms. Most recently we signed TikTok personalities Mitchell Crawford and SwagboyQ; “Coffee and Kareem” actress Samantha Cole; Harvard grad, “MasterChef” finalist and Voodles founder Nick DiGiovanni along with YouTube creators: K-pop lover and K-beauty focused Darcei Giles and beauty vlogger Yoatzi Castro. 

What current projects are you currently working on?

As far as new and exciting projects go, Miles McKenna is launching his new book “Out: How to Be Your Authentic Self,” which will hit bookshelves on October 6. Miles also recently booked a role in an anthology series, an example of how Fullscreen helps our clients bridge the gap between traditional and digital.  Other wins for my team include forging a deal between Cody Ko and Noel Miller’s Tiny Meat Gang with Arista Records, negotiating CJ Perry’s supporting role in the upcoming Bruce Willis film “Cosmic Sin,” securing the renewal of Brandon Armstrong’s “Fouled Out” series for retailer Champs Sports, landing the deal for Aija Mayrock’s second book “Dear Girl” publishing in August. Additionally, PopularMMO’s third book in his New York Times best-selling series is slated for publication in October and fashion vlogger and body positivity advocate Sierra Schultzzie has been a brand ambassador for Hollister this year. Just to name a few things!

How did you get to this position?

I started out working on the traditional film side of the entertainment industry and as time went on I became more and more intrigued by the digital space and digital talent. When I first moved over to Fullscreen I was focused on finding YouTube channels to help scale the network, but I found myself interested in working with talent more strategically. I loved finding talent on Vine and YouTube and using my experience and entrepreneurial thinking to help them develop their career paths. What I was doing ultimately ended up becoming the talent management team that I lead now, which works with talent strategically across all areas of their careers and businesses. 

What does your daily routine look like? 

My new daily routine, since quarantine began, has been waking up and going on a run first thing. I then come home, shower and get ready for the day, which includes makeup and dressing as if I were going into the office – it helps me feel ready for the work day and get into that mindset. For breakfast I make a smoothie, then throughout the rest of the day I’m checking in with my team and working with clients. From 1-2pm, I’m strict about giving myself some sort of break to make lunch, catch up on emails or make family calls. Once I wrap the day, I either go on a socially distanced visit with a friend, make dinner and/or watch a good show.

What is the day to day of your job?

My day to day tends to vary a lot – a large amount of time is spent checking in with my team members and making sure they have all the resources they need and feel connected. The other bulk of time is focused on clients, connecting with them, brainstorming creative ideas and executing deals. I have a dual role of both supervisor to the team while also maintaining my clients’ businesses.

What are your top 5 tips for success? 

  1. Continue to give yourself new challenges and goals to reach – you should always be evolving, even at the highest levels! 
  2. Hold yourself accountable
  3. Be communicative and direct – communication is key
  4. Listen to everybody. Even if the hierarchy has someone below or above you, listen. Everyone has different experiences and knowledge. It’s important to not have a mindset that you are the most knowledgeable person in the room. 
  5. Enjoy life and have fun!

WrapWomen is a power base of influential women of entertainment, media, technology and brands committed to changing the face of their industries. Through media and live events, we provide a platform to accelerate the vision of women who are building towards a more equitable world. Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter! 

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