A weekly Q&A with interesting people in the Australian Media Industry
Taryn Williams
  • Name Taryn Williams
  • Company WINK Models
  • Position Founder & Managing Director
  • Interviewed by Social Diary on 29/7/2015
  • Q
    Describe your career path to date?
    A
    I started in the industry as a model when I was 15, and got to travel all over Australia & the globe with some fantastic clients. I decided it was the industry for me, and went on to study Marketing & International relations at uni. After some not-so-pleasant experiences in the industry, I decided (with the blissful naivety of youth!) that I wanted to start my own agency - one that would do it better, treat people better, and pay our models within 7 days no matter what. And here we are, 8 years later, with 3 offices, 550+ models, and I still love this crazy industry we all work in!
  • Q
    What do you love about your job?
    A
    I love seeing our campaigns in market. Nothing is more rewarding than a new talent joining and booking their first big campaign, then driving past it on a giant billboard on the Anzac bridge, and knowing how chuffed they are! Pulling all the pieces together, finding the exact right talent for a client, getting them to the casting, getting the call that one of our models landed the gig, juggling all the schedules and making it work for a great outcome for everyone, it never loses its shine. I love it.
  • Q
    And what's not so great?
    A
    The crazy last minute deadlines! It's not uncommon for us to have a job come in at 9am for a 12pm shoot! We're pretty well trained now to expect the unexpected, and pull off some minor miracles. I'm lucky to have an amazing team in the office to help make it all happen, and our models really do go above and beyond for us and our clients.
  • Q
    Describe your typical day?
    A
    I'm up a bit before 6am to hit the gym - I train at Peak Altitude chamber in the CBD, so I'm getting by butt kicked by my PT at 4,000m every morning at 6am, usually with some of our models or my staff. It's my favourite way to start the day! I'm usually at my desk by 7.30am, protein shake and the largest long black you can buy in hand! I'll then have a mix of conference calls, meetings, and general emails to get through. I check in with our Brisbane office & Melbourne office throughout the day, and our Sydney team will update me on new bookings & upcoming events. My divine team make the most amazing salads for our lunches, its become commonly known with some of our clients who always try to schedule their meetings here at lunchtime to get in on the action! Generally we'll have an event to go to most nights - a client party, new bar launch, awards night or similar. I try to be home by 11pm, ready to do it all again the next day!
  • Q
    What was it like transitioning from model to agent?
    A
    I was really lucky that I had worked both client side as a photographic & event producer, and talent side as a model, so really had a good idea what was required of both parties. It made the transition a lot easier, and I had a great existing network of clients & connections to start with the day I opened the doors at WINK.
  • Q
    What is the best experience you've had in your career?
    A
    That's a tough one!! I had some amazing experiences as a model - travelling the world to incredibly interesting places like India, Japan, Korea. Professionally, making the Smart Company Hot 30 under 30 list, and again for B&T, was a pretty amazing experience. It's nice to feel recognised for all the hard work when you're slogging it out!
  • Q
    What do great PR people do?
    A
    Connect people. They have an innate ability to bring together the right people in the right contexts, at the right time.
  • Q
    What do bad PRs do...
    A
    Have bad grammar! It's my pet peeve. The number of emails I've received that have spelling errors, badly punctuated, or are even addressed to the wrong person (if I get Tara or Karren one more time...), It's really disappointing to see, as you know somewhere a client is paying for that service!
  • Q
    What tips would you give people booking talent/models?
    A
    Agencies are here to help - don't be afraid to ask us for assistance! We know it can be a bit of a scary process for a brand that has never booked a model before, or when it's a really important shoot/event and you really need to get it right for your client. We love helping you get the best result possible, so ask us as many questions as you like, ask our advice, let us help make it as easy and empowering for you as possible.
  • Q
    How has social media altered your job since the days when you started out?
    A
    It's had a huge impact on our business in a number of ways. Firstly, it's a great marketing tool for us to convey how our agency is really different to the others in our space in the market, and to engage with the brands we work with and help promote the campaigns we're involved in. It's also seen clients actively looking for models with strong social media reach as part of their casting criteria - a model with 10K followers will be booked over a girl with 1K followers, if they're trying to decide between the final two! Its also a great way for us to build a great rapport with our talent, it's fun for them to see what we're doing day to day and vice versa - to support & engage with them day to day.
  • Q
    Do you enjoy attending industry events, and if so - which are your fave kind?
    A
    Goes without saying Social Diary xmas/Halloween parties are our favourite of the year! As far as other industry events, I really love the tech events that General Assembly run, and the charity events we sponsor such a Tour De Cure, Wharf 4 Ward, Shine & Dine etc. The industry awards nights like AdNews, MFA Awards, APMA Awards, Australian Event Awards, Mumbrella awards are always great too, it's pretty special to see campaigns we've worked on take out the winners trophy. Makes all those late nights at the office worth while!
  • Q
    If you didn't own a Modelling agency, what would you be?
    A
    I'd love to work with start ups to get them VC funding & connecting them with Angel investors. I love the early stages of business and am working on a few new projects right now, and its really reminded me how fun and exciting those early days are.
  • Q
    Your Instagram/Twitter:
    A
    Instagram:
    @tarynwilliams
    @winkmodels
    Twitter:
    @winkmodelsaus