Fatima Pissarra, the queen of influence in Brazil

Fatima Pissarra, CEO of Mynd, leads the largest influencer and entertainment marketing agency in the country, with a dream team of 400 artists and influencers

by Felipe Seffrin





Fatima Pissarra, Mynd’s CEO

If you follow any artist or major influencer on social media, it is very likely that they are managed by Fatima Pissarra. At the head of Mynd, the largest influencer marketing agency in Brazil, she leads social networks and campaigns for a music and entertainment dream team, with names as diverse as Pabllo Vittar, Luisa Sonza, Galvão Bueno, Camilla de Lucas, Gil do Vigor and Pequena Lo – the list is long, with more than 400 names). 

Created in 2017, Mynd works with advertising projects focused on music and entertainment, as well as managing the image and developing digital strategies for artists, influencers and even executives. Alongside managing partner Preta Gil and COO Carlos Scappini, Fatima brings with her the experience of someone who has worked in companies such as BCP, Claro, Terra, Nokia and VEVO, and in five years has brought together a constellation of stages and the Internet in the country.

But it took a little push for that to become a reality. “Preta and I were already partners at Mynd and I got to know several artists for doing projects for Vevo. One day they called me from the United States: ‘We love you, but our contract says that if Vevo were taken over by YouTube we could end our contract. So, bye’”, she recalls. I was hit with distress, as Vevo was responsible for 80% of Mynd’s revenue. “But Preta and the entire team gave me a lot of strength to continue and then we started to focus on agency”, says the 44-year-old executive from Curitiba. 

It worked. In 2021, Mynd carried out more than 2,700 advertising campaigns and actions, with revenues of BRL300 million. For 2022, the estimate is BRL550 million in revenue. And the plan is to keep expanding.





How is it to be at the head of the largest influencer and entertainment marketing agency in the country?

In fact, it wasn’t something I planned. I came from the corporate market. I worked at Nokia, Claro, Terra, and I was always a very curious person. I would go to the finance department and learn a little about finance, to the legal department and understand a little about contracts, to the purchase department, to the factory. I’ve always been very curious to know the 360°. I’ve always been very workaholic and I really liked innovation.





But how did you start to work managing singers?

When I worked with Vevo, I got to know many singers. I did a lot of music projects and listened to their needs. The music universe had a very big gap in agency. The actors and presenters already had offices in Rio de Janeiro. Influencers did too. But the advertising area for singers was not structured. So there was a gap. 





What was the big difference when you started to focus on managing?

I migrated always thinking I was a retailer, you know? A company that sold products and that, in this case, those products were people. I needed the heart of the company to be the commercial area. Because the heart of Unilever or P&G is the commercial area. So I followed this model: they are people, but they are products. Today our commercial area has 45 people. No influence company has 45 people in the commercial area. 





How did influencers get into this product shelf?

Music started to work well. One day, Preta said: “Fatima, why don’t we work with influencers?”. That’s when we took that step towards entertainment. Because we were going to release a song or do a campaign for a brand with music and they asked us to promote it with influencers. And influencers asked us to manage them. So we started this evolution into entertainment. 





Preta Gil, partner of Mynd, brings the vision of someone who deals with millions of followers every day

What does an influencer need to be or do to stand out?

To stand out is really to have an audience, to grow, to make cool content. Today the world is migrating to a format of less hyper numbers and more endorsement. Of course, there are campaigns where numbers matter. However, with the pandemic, there were many brands entering digital, which sometimes talk about a specific subject. And niche influencers are booming. We keep an eye on all of this. We are always searching.





What does it take to join Mynd?

I always say that someone at the company, whether it’s me or the artistic directors, has to fall in love with you. We have to look at the content and say “man, this person is really amazing, they impacted me”. I saw the content of several people we manage, loved it and called them to talk. Of course, we also have a network of people who send names. However, the most important thing is for the content creator to treat it as their work and with their truth. It’s not getting into this to stay set. No. It is the truth that captures us.





Every week someone new goes viral. Is there space on the internet for so many influencers?

Yes, of course there is. Especially for niche influencers. In gastronomy, for example, there are not many influencers with more than 1 million followers. In other words, there’s space. And then there are 500,000 segments that don’t have anyone. Entrepreneurship, finance and do-it-yourself have few people. There is room for many people to grow and develop.





And for companies and brands, what is the recipe?

The recipe is to research. Open your mind to the new, ask your kids what they’re watching. Not pre-judge. Understand that the world is moving and evolving. Companies need to be open-minded to what’s coming. Because today there is no longer a way to work only on television. We have to integrate everything, integrate with the influencer’s content. 





Why is diversity one of Mynd’s pillars?

We are, without a doubt, the most diverse company on the market. When I started Mynd in 2017, we made the decision to have 50% black people on the team. In other words, to be a truly diverse company. I wanted our perspective to be a portrait of the real Brazil. We often felt this in the agencies: five white people, standard, deciding on a campaign for a product that sometimes sold more in the state of Bahia. And there wasn’t anyone from Bahia, there wasn’t anyone from the Northeast! So we brought people in to have a portrait of this real Brazil. 





Was there any resistance from the market? 

We saw many people saying that they could not find good professionals. But I look and I find a lot of qualified black people. What I think is that no one is looking. It’s not hard, you just have to be determined. And when we make this transformation, a lot of things are triggered from it. It’s important for everyone to see themselves in a campaign. There is the issue of race, gender, people with disabilities. This is how we change the world. 





This is certainly reflected in Mynd’s squad, which is super diverse. But did you find or still find obstacles from the brands?

Yes, a lot. We are talking about an extremely racist and homophobic country. So many brands are afraid to step into this “territory”. But there is no territory. Everyone is a person, aren’t they? Hair territory is for those who have hair. You have to reflect society so that everyone sees themselves represented and buys this product. Having regionality, diversity of race, gender, people with disabilities, so that everyone can feel represented. 





Gil do Vigor is one of the 400 artists managed by the company

How did Mynd come up with this new executive management product?

When three people tell me they can’t find something to buy, I put it up for sale (she laughs). We always take care of the social media of artists such as Luiza Sonza (28 million followers on Instagram), Gil do Vigor (15 million), Camilla de Lucas (10 million). And because of that, we receive a lot of training. So, we have a very great knowledge of what sells. 





And this can also be applied to executives…

Exactly. And since I came from the corporate world, some friends asked me for help to take care of their Instagram accounts. These days, if a person wants to assess you, the first thing they do is log into your Instagram. Then I heard several people saying “I don’t know what to do, there’s no one to help me with this” and we know how to do that! So we started helping executives who want to become a brand on social media.  





Is it harder to take care of so many artists and influencers or to mother twins?

It sure is harder to take care of artists! (she laughs) My kids are easy, because I’m in charge (she laughs). But I admire artists so much, you know? It must be hard to wake up with a hater, with someone making up lies. Since I had my daughter, now 14 years old, I have tried to integrate my children into my life. I have 7-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, so it’s even more difficult. And I want them to have this example of a mother who was always very happy working.





You entered the internet when everything was very new and today we are in the Streaming Age. What do you expect from the future of digital? 

I started on the internet at the University of Santa Catarina, between 1995 and 1999, which was an internet beta tester. So, I really am one of the oldest people on the internet in the country. I remember everyone was in a room at the university when we saw the first photo being opened on a computer. After you go through all this, you ask yourself: “wow, what else is coming?” I think what will come will be very fast. Fewer and fewer obstacles, fewer borders. More and more accesses, possibilities. Brazil is a country that can still advance a lot in digital inclusion.





Is the idea to continue expanding?

We want to always expand Mynd. The digital universe is always expanding, there’s no way for us to stop. A lot of niche influencers are coming, so I can’t just be with people who are huge. Now there’s this of the Metaverse, NFTs, and we are already developing projects on top of that. Who knows, maybe a new platform is coming. We are always evolving. We are far from stopping.  





Mynd in nubers

5 years

in business

400 people

managed

BRL300 million

in revenue in 2021

More than 2,700

campaigns and advertising actions in 2021

BRL550million

estimated revenue in 2022