What TikTok agents and managers are looking for in new creative talent in 2022
- TikTok has become a jumping off point for creators looking to pursue a career in entertainment.
- Insider asked more than a dozen TikTok agents and managers what they look for when looking for new talent.
- Many said they want to work with creators who have proven they can go beyond short-form video.
TikTok has created a new generation of digital stars, with some turning to the app to earn a living as content creators.
But fame on TikTok can be fleeting.
Unlike YouTube or
where creators have loyal follower bases who can receive notifications when new content goes live, TikTokers are at the mercy of the For You page algorithm to help them stay in touch with their fans. Industry professionals told Insider that the app’s approach to content discovery makes it harder for creators to build deeper connections with subscribers.
Managers and agents who work with TikTok talent are acutely aware of this challenge. And that shapes the types of creators they look for when signing new clients.
“In a world that rewards viral moments, it’s crucial to have a public presence that can survive the passing fads that come with social media,” Donnelle Branche, digital brand architect, told Insider.
The ability to turn TikTok fame into content on non-social media platforms like TV and print is also a priority for some agents.
“We’re looking for talent with a unique perspective and transferable expertise that can be transposed into traditional verticals, whether it’s voiceover work, cookbook, ‘a musical or a television show,’ Rachel O’Brien, an agent at Creative Arts Agency, said. “We’re passionate about franchisable IP with viral TikTok origins, whether it’s great pasta recipes, a musical on ‘Bridgerton,’ or a TikToks ballet on Cardi B. We’re looking for experts in their domains, whatever their niche.”
The ability for TikTokers to create videos across all content categories is also important for space agents and managers.
“I’m always on the lookout for crossover talent,” Zach Cole, talent manager at Slash Management, told Insider. He’s looking for “people who have multiple passion projects and have the ability to train for the opportunity to be in more than one niche,” he said.
Mason Frank, director of talent at digital network and entertainment company Collab, also said he’s looking for multi-hyphenated creators who can grow and monetize on a variety of platforms.
Other TikTok talent agents and managers said they put work ethic and personality above everything else.
Max Levine, co-founder of creator entertainment company Amp Studios, told Insider that the top qualities he looks for in talent are a “deep passion for creating and editing content, a strong work ethic and humility”.
Adden Laughlin, director of talent at Wheelhouse DNA, also pointed out that she’s looking for creators willing to get down to business.
“Above all, I’m looking for the work ethic, which is key to turning all creative goals into reality, and talent whose aspirations transcend TikTok,” she told Insider.