Modelling with tech
"We’re hardworking, generous in spirit and in time, and innovative. We are the game changers."
At only 21, Taryn Williams knew that she wanted to be different and create something that was her own. Being a former model and having previously worked in events management and photographic production, her goal was to completely shake up the modelling industry.
The start of something new
Taryn decided to take the leap and start WINK Models, a national commercial modelling agency, and shortly after, theright.fit, an online market network. This was intended to disrupt the modelling and talent industry forever.
“I knew I could improve the existing landscape with an agency that provided clients with a higher quality service while providing a fair and supportive environment for talent,” she says.
Taryn worked hard to setup the correct systems and processes in place at WINK, including the development of an app that is now used to manage bookings. Her love for tech took over and she saw an opportunity to create a market network, directly connecting creative talent with clients. “That led to the creation of theright.fit,” she explains.
Leading with innovation
The idea of a challenge and striving to always look at new and innovative ways of doing things is what inspires Taryn every day. And she’s used this attitude to build a unique and fierce brand.
“We’re hardworking, generous in spirit and in time, and innovative. We are the game changers,” she says.
And while she admits that learning how to delegate was one of her biggest challenges, Taryn knew she needed to overcome this in order to move the business forward. “I needed to learn how to best manage my team and resources to ensure they had systems and processes in place to allow me to comfortably delegate to them without worrying the company would fall over.”
WINK Models is now one of the leading commercial modelling agencies in Australia, and theright.fit has recently expanded to New York. Taryn plans to focus on her acquisition strategy, and integrate structure and a seamless workflow for the team.
A social model
Facebook has been an essential part of building the brand and conveying its uniqueness.
“It is a fantastic way for us to engage with our target market, both clients and talent. As we are such a visual business, with great images, Facebook is perfectly suited to us to promote our company and allows greater cut through and targeting,” says Taryn.
After referrals, social media has become the number one marketing platform for the modelling agency. Taryn says that she has been able to achieve a return 7X that of her ad-spend.
Taryn’s top tips for women
1) Be smart
“Don’t spend time rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”
In a small business, if something isn’t working, you have to be agile and make decisions quickly. If that means letting an employee go, or putting a stop to a project you’d been working on that wasn’t quite working, then so be it. You simply don’t have the resources and time to try to force something to work. Cut your losses, and focus your energy on the next thing.
2) Seize the day
Become a morning person!
“I get up at 5.30am every day to get as much in as possible before the phones start ringing at 8am. It allows me to spend more time with our NY team too because of the time difference,” says Taryn.
3) Get a mentor
Taryn was incredibly lucky to have two amazing mentors early in her career. One was from the advertising world, and the other was from private equity. “They both had very different approaches to starting a business and running a successful company, and it really made a world of difference in terms of not only having a sounding board, but access to support, knowledge and networks I wouldn’t have been afforded otherwise.”