Human CapitalI AM CEO PODCASTRecruitmentTalent Acquisition

IAM1994 – Talent Manager Unveils the Secrets of Influencer Management

Podcast Interview with Courtney Bagby Lupilin

In this episode, we have Courtney Bagby Lupilin, the CEO and founder of Little Red Management. She talks about her journey of starting her own talent management company for reality TV stars, her approach to managing clients and brand partnerships, and gives advice for content creators and entrepreneurs.

Since its inception, Little Red Management has actively activated partnerships for huge brands, including Disney, Fox, Hallmark, Nike, Adidas, Amazon, and many more. Courtney's wealth of knowledge in influencer marketing and content creation has enabled her to connect her clients with brands that align with their personal brand and values. Her expertise in understanding her clients' unique appeal to brands sets her apart in the industry.

Courtney Bagby Lupilin's journey as the CEO of Little Red Management is inspiring and showcases the power of passion and determination. Her expertise in influencer marketing and content creation, combined with her personal connection to the industry, has allowed her to build a thriving business and connect reality TV stars with top brands. Through her personal approach and dedication to her clients, Courtney continues to make a significant impact in the industry.


Check out our CEO Hack Buzz Newsletter–our premium newsletter with hacks and nuggets to level up your organization. Sign up HERE

I AM CEO Handbook Volume 3
 is HERE and it's FREE. Get your copy here: Get the 100+ things that you can learn from 1600 business podcasts we recorded. Hear Gresh's story, learn the 16 business pillars from the podcast, find out about CBNation Architects and why you might be one and so much more. Did we mention it was FREE? Download it today!

Full Interview:


The full transcription is only available to CBNation Library Members. Sign up today!

Courtney Bagby Lupilin Teaser 00:00

And so that's what is so crazy to me is I just wanted to work for an agency and do this, right? I didn't care how or why or whatever, like. It wasn't me wanting to start my own business. It's even after a year in an agency, like I would apply. That's what's so crazy.

Right. And my competitors are probably always Oh God, I could have hired her, and she would have been a badass.

[00:00:22] Intro: Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I Am CEO Podcast.

[00:00:50] Gresham Harkless: Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Courtney Bagby Lupilin. Courtney, excited to have you on the show.

[00:01:00] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: Thank you for having me.

[00:01:01] Gresham Harkless: Yeah. Super excited to have you on and talk about all the awesome things that you're doing. And of course, before we jumped into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Courtney so you can hear about some of those awesome things.

Courtney is the CEO and founder of Little Red Management is the go to talent manager for reality TV stars from shows on ABC, CBS, MTV, and Netflix including the Bachelor franchise, Big Brother, Love is Blind, and The Circle.

She began her career in the corporate sector at Oracle in San Francisco, managing international internal communications and events. A yearning for the celebrity side of influencer marketing led her to Los Angeles where she volunteered her time and built relationships within the reality TV world before taking the leap to launch Little Red Management in 2019 at the age of 25.

Courtney has actively participated activated partnerships for huge brands, including Disney, Fox, Hallmark, Nike, Adidas, Amazon and many, many more. And I absolutely love that Courtney was able to take the ball and run with it. Something that she was super passionate about has been able to build and do, phenomenal thing.

She has a wealth of knowledge, which I'm sure we'll get into. to around influencer marketing, content creation. And one of the things that I love is her hobbies. One of the, two of the hobbies that she has are puppies and national pizza day, which I think should definitely be everybody's hobbies.

And I just want to give you a congratulations as well. I saw you recently got married. So I wanted to give you a belated congratulations as well. So Courtney, are you ready to speak to the I Am CEO community?

[00:02:26] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: Yes, thank you so much. And just a little fun fact. We also had pizza for our main dish at our wedding. I don't know if you saw that.

[00:02:34] Gresham Harkless: I did not. I'm jealous.

[00:02:37] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: It was super fun.

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:02:39] Gresham Harkless: What do they say? Best wedding ever. So there you go. That's the best way to get the right reviews. So I absolutely love that. To kind of kick everything off. I wanted to rewind the clock here a little bit more on how you got started. What I call your CEO story.

[00:02:50] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: Yeah, of course. I'm like, where should I start? No. So I originally like right outside of college, I knew that I wanted to manage reality stars and talent. Like it was right in the timeframe just to give everyone an idea. It was about 2015.

See also  IAM1467 - Hard-hitting Serial Entrepreneur Leads the Charge in Helping Small to Mid-size Businesses Catapult in Growth Value

And a lot of people, I would say, honestly, that was like The first time that people were starting to get a following from reality TV on Instagram.

So I would see this happen. I was like, oh, my God, how do I do this? I want to work with those people. This is so great because it wasn't even it wasn't just like an actor, actors always got a following from their TV shows on mostly every platform. But this was the 1st. Few years that people were really blowing up.

I just didn't necessarily know, like, how to get there. Right? So it was like, I had a lot of informational interviews. I ended up not taking the risk. I couldn't get anything in L. A right outside of college. And I knew that I didn't want to go to New York. I ended up getting a job at Oracle in tech and absolutely loved it still for three years.

And I just had like my hobbies be watching reality tv traveling to go meet celebrities in LA and like doing whatever I could sliding into dms to help do a media kit for you know my now clients like it's crazy to think that but and I ended up finally making the move about three years later.

Leaving oracle and I got a job at a talent agency where we handled Many like commercials and social media deals and stuff, but it was for a lot of actors and actresses and again, as I think you remember, I wanted to work with reality and that was always my goal.

And my bosses at the time did not want to do that. So I took into my own hands and left the company and I think I had about 5 people that I could pitch. It was definitely under 10. Oops. And I was like, all right, I'm going to go do my own thing now. And that's when I started Little Red Management.

So that was about like four and a half years ago now.

[00:04:52] Gresham Harkless: Nice. I love hearing that journey. It sounds like you were just attracted to the things you were passionate about and trying to see how it would work out.

I don't know if you knew it would work out, but it seems like you just were attracted to it and you decided to just, spend more and more time there and didn't get give up hope.

[00:05:06] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: And I think the biggest thing is I never had a want or dream to start my own company.

It wasn't the goal. And so that's what is so crazy to me is I just wanted to work for an agency and do this, right? I didn't care how or why or whatever, like. It wasn't me wanting to start my own business. It's even after a year in an agency, like I would apply. That's what's so crazy.

Right. And my competitors are probably always Oh God, I could have hired her, and she would have been a badass at my company, but really, that's what's so insane, is that I tried to get a job, even in, with agencies that represented reality stars, and I didn't get any calls.

So then I just took it into my own hands and started my own business. And I've actually never talked about that on a podcast, because I feel like a lot of people think that I always wanted to start my own business.

[00:05:55] Gresham Harkless: Yeah, that's why I appreciate you sharing that.

Absolutely making a way at it sometimes when there's seems to be, no way at all. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more here, a little bit more about that way, what you lean into, how you're working and serve your clients.

Can you take us through what that looks like and how you're making that impact?

[00:06:09] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: Yeah, so a Little Red Management, we manage reality stars and handle their brand partnerships. And negotiate those brand partnerships. A lot of it is just to give you an idea is the latest season of Love is Blind is out and I either DM I will sign to those DMs still to this day.

Or I'll get a referral or the latest cast member might reach out to me and we'll start a conversation and then from there I'm guiding them on what their career is going to look like now because it's like a whole new world to them. So, I'll do partnerships with them with Amazon and Nike and, whatever deals that come our way, right?

I'll be negotiating those. But the most important thing is. Taking a reality star off the show and being like, what do you want to do now? What sort of content do you want to do? What kind of brands do you want to work with? Because at the end of the day I have so many different clients that all do different types of brand deals and appeal to that, to brands differently.

Right. Just because one person's working with Amazon doesn't mean that. Every client of mine is going to appeal to Amazon, and I think that's what the coolest thing is. And on the other hand I'll have someone like Amazon reach out to me and say, Hey, can you send me some clients of yours that really make sustainability number one?

And that you can tell them their Instagram that sustainability is very important to them. And from there I'll send them a few girls or guys or whoever it is. And we'll go from there on, who's going to be the best partner for that brand too. So it goes both ways.

See also  IAM416 - Founder of Influencer Marketing Agency Tells Brands’ Stories Online

[00:07:40] Gresham Harkless: Yeah, that makes so much sense.

So what would you consider to be what I like to call your secret sauce?

This could be for yourself, the organization or a combination of both. But what do you feel sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:07:51] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: Oh my God. I love this question. Cause I feel like sometimes I'm like so hard on myself that sometimes it's like nice to remember the things that probably set me apart. I feel like my secret sauce is being in the same generation as a lot of my clients.

And also just and being able to know what I personally like to watch on socials, right? And what kind of content I like and want. Because I'm also a fan of these people. So I feel like that's, those are two things. I have one more, but I think, it's really hard for me to work with someone that I don't know.

So the fact that I actually manage talent that I know every single one and have watched them on their shows is really helpful for them and me because I know What they're known for. And I think the third thing is just like my, I shouldn't say it like this, but like my emotional state of mind, like just me being like emotionally invested, like in my client's lives and like actually caring about them and like wanting to make money for them sets me apart, I think, because at the end of the day yes, I want to make money too, but like it's my goal to make that money.

And And be able to get them deals that they're excited about, too, money aside. And I think just me actually caring is very different in this industry. And I feel like that sounds so bad, but I don't know if you know a lot of people entertainment agents, big time agents, it's hard.

Do they actually care about you.

[00:09:19] Gresham Harkless: Yeah. And it reminds me of the quote, people don't care how much, so they know how much you care. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:09:35] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: I literally could not live without my notes app on my phone. And just we have one that's shared between our team. And we keep track of, like, all the campaigns that go live every day.

And check them off once they go live. So helpful because if you're just, if I'm running the grocery store, which I do go, or the bank, or whatever I can use it from my phone, and it's super easy to use on phone, computer, whatever. My other thing that's just outside the box is I do use Airtable. And I just have used it since day one of like color coding everything and like project managing everything.

Those are like my two main things that I feel keep my team very organized.

[00:10:21] Gresham Harkless: Yeah, I absolutely love both of those hacks.

So what would you consider to be what I call A CEO nugget? It's a little bit more word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be around influencer marketing or content creation, but it might be something you were, hop into a time machine and tell your younger business self.

[00:10:37] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: Okay. I love this for everyone that ever wants to start a business too and I share it a lot. So I'm sorry if you've already heard it, but, and it's from a movie, but never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. So just do it. Just try reach out to so many people on LinkedIn. slide into those DMs and make it happen.

Set your mind to something and do it. My favorite piece of advice that I want to also share for content creators or anyone in that space is, you can expect, and this is so random cause I feel like we haven't talked about this podcast, but I think about all the time how my clients just need to post or like consistently post every day.

Post every other day, post consistently and, because I'll have people that reach out to me, clients of mine, and say, Hey, Courtney, how come I haven't gotten a deal this month? And I'm like the last time you posted in feed was over a month ago. So my point to them, my little nugget is you can't expect to make a full time salary if you're only working part time.

And I actually think that can go hand in hand for any entrepreneur also listening to this because you can't start a business thinking that you're going to make a lot of money if you're only working a couple hours a week on your business.

[00:11:57] Gresham Harkless: And I love how it ties into your story as well too. Cause I think even when you mentioned when you were working at Oracle, you were still, DMing people, you were still watching, doing homework even as well too. But I think there's no substitute. I imagine you would as well see from my kind of rolling up your sleeves and doing the work and that work, especially if you want to be a content creator is actually creating content.

You want to get a brand deal for your content. You have to have content that you're creating consistently so that the brand can understand exactly who you are and what you're doing.

See also  IAM627- Online Business Coach Helps Others Ditch the 9-5 Life

[00:12:25] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: A hundred percent. And, I couldn't tell you more about all that stuff. Cause I think that you just, you have to put.

Don't maybe don't put all your eggs in the basket, but you do have to expect to work really hard and full time to make that money in return.

[00:12:40] Gresham Harkless: Absolutely. And so now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO.

And we're hoping to have different quote unquote CEOs on the show. So Courtney, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:12:52] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: Honestly, being a CEO, to me, it means that I can make. Decisions on what I want to do. And I know that seems so broad, but there are so many clients that come to me and want me to represent them and.

If I don't know them from a TV show my team is not going to represent them. And that's how it's gonna happen. And I think also in a weird thing you're working 24 7, but you also have this flexibility as well. Yeah. Give me an example. What does CEO mean to you? I want to hear what other people have said to you and I'm going to go back and listen.

[00:13:28] Gresham Harkless: Yeah, there's so many great answers. I think that one of the things, one of the ones that really resonated with me is somebody compared it to like being a parent. And I think because especially like when you're starting where we're talking about those beginning stages of business ends up being like having a baby and you have to be around it all the time.

But as you start to progress, the baby starts walking, it starts doing things by itself. So you start to see the growth of it. I think that's been definitely, one of my favorite ones, but chief cook and bottle washer chief, everything officer I've heard literally everything.

You get to do all those things. But we sometimes forget that we have the paintbrush and we get to paint the canvas how we want. So I really love that perspective in that definition.

[00:14:07] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: I think Yeah, that's what's so scary. Like scary goes back to failure. Right. But I think that that's what's so insane is if you want to hire more employees, it's just scary of like where that will take you. Right. Or you just don't know the outcome. And sometimes I do wish that I had someone to like, tell me what to do.

I have I feel like I'm in a very pivotal time in my career where. Yeah. I'm hoping to get to work with, larger talent, but that means that I also feel like I won't have as much time. And I've never admitted this yet, but I'm always scared because, will that not give me more time for.

My smaller creators that I adore and love, and like, how do you do that? I don't want to hire a bunch of employees. That's probably my least favorite thing is figuring out how to make employees happy and like managing them. And and I'm so thankful for my team, but it's hard, and so I think that those are the things that, are scary about owning your own business is just okay, how do I want to go about this? And what are really my dreams and longterm goals at this point now that I've had my business for a few years.

[00:15:16] Gresham Harkless: Yeah, it is definitely, there's a tremendous amount of opportunity.

So Courtney truly appreciate that definition and perspective.

Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best they can get a hold of you. Find out about all the awesome things you can retain working on.

[00:15:34] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: Amazing. You can find me on Instagram at Courtney Bagby, B-A-G-B-Y. I will be changing the name soon on Instagram . But follow my Instagram account for Little Red Management, so it's Little Red.

And then MGMT. So yeah, check it out and feel free to email me if you have any questions. Email is always the best way to get ahold of me. So thank you so much for having me on.

[00:15:59] Gresham Harkless: Yeah. Truly appreciate you. Of course, to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information that show notes as well, too, so that everybody can get ahold of Courtney and their team and all the awesome things that you're doing, but truly appreciate you. For taking time out.

And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:12] Courtney Bagby Lupilin: Thank you so much.

[00:16:13] Intro: Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I Am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five star rating.

This has been the I Am CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.



Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button