Celebrities, creators, and Instagram team members united on June 8, 9, and 10 in a variety of events and seminars to discuss how social media can be used to grow personal brands and launch careers.
On June 9, 50 Cent and Sylvia Obell discussed the new rules of the music industry and how social media has changed the way that new artists can get discovered. With musicians taking to Instagram and Facebook to share their music and sound, the gatekeeping in the industry is going away.
50 Cent stressed the importance of mentorship and consistency, and how both elements can be helpful in getting into the industry. “The way to establish anything is to work on your actual craft, and when you put the material out, establish consistency,” he said. “For a mentor, someone has to take interest in you and want to help you grow.”
Today, the music industry is operating in a new way. Artists are first establishing themselves on social media by growing a following, with deals at record companies coming second. 50 Cent shared some tips on how he recommends growing a following on social media. “Let the music speak for itself,” he said. “Make it about the music.”
Later that day, Besidone Amoruwa from Instagram and content creators Victoria Lyn (@vicotrialyn), Meeka Hossain (@catchmeeksifyoucan), and Kevin Ninh (@flawlesskevin) discussed how to make money on social media.
Hossain advised that when it comes to establishing a relationship with brands, the key is showing companies organic love and making it about you and your relationship with the brand. Lyn suggested that creatives looking to start a relationship with a brand be really familiar with the company’s products. She also noted that tagging them in reels and posts could be helpful in getting on a brand’s PR list. Ninh suggested that sharing your story and being authentic is what differentiates you from other creatives when it comes to fostering a partnership.
When negotiating rates for deals, Hossain noted that it is mostly about “building that brand relationship and seeing what works best for both of you.” Lyn cautioned creatives who are working without management to never price themselves out of an opportunity. Ninh added that integrity is key when handling product endorsements. He advised that all creatives really enjoy a product before they share it with their followers. Lyn suggested that creatives treat their profile like a stage, mentioning that showcasing one’s versatility is essential in making your profile look more appealing to brands.
On June 10, comedian Elsa Majimbo joined her manager Mo Kheir, Adam Wescott from CreatorPlus, and Andrew Graham from Creative Artists Agency to discuss getting started in the industry and how social media can play a role in that.
Wescott said that when it comes to signing talent, the industry is looking for consistency, engagement across platforms, and the “x factor.”
Majimbo has erupted on social media this past year into a star comedian. “For me it is about getting into a space where there is no limits,” she said. “You can be and do anything.”
Later that day, Brooke Devard Ozaydinli, Spotify’s Courtney Holt, and Gael Aitor and Thomas Pham from Teenage Therapy Podcast discussed starting a podcast. The boys behind Teenage Therapy, which has 1/2 million subscribers on Spotify, shared how they got their podcast off the ground at the start, mentioning everything from Googling tutorials to using a DSLR camera for the audio.
Holt referenced that a common struggle for podcasters involves promotion, distribution, and getting their content in front of an audience. “There’s a lot of ways to put a podcast on Spotify,” he said. “There’s just not a lot of ways to build an audience. It matters if you as a creator know how to build an audience.”
A common theme throughout the panel had to do with podcasters understanding their audience and understanding what audiences want to hear. Holt noted that building relationships with other podcasters is a great way to grow your podcast, too. For Teenage Therapy, this was the case. At the start they would reach out to larger accounts and share their purpose and goals to find that many people were willing to promote them because they admired their mission.
The entire panel agreed, the key to breaking through with your podcast is being genuine and being authentic. “If you want to break through you have to be great and you have to be different,” Holt said. “Authenticity and vulnerability are really huge in this medium.”
Creator Week featured talent like Olivia Rodrigo, JoJo Siwa, Saweetie, 50 Cent, and more. The seminar virtually engaged thousands of creators to help them build their brands, better their careers, and make connections in the industry.
Image Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Instagram and Facebook’s Creator Week