AB Lieberman, the CEO of Clicks Talent, shares his journey from freelancing for social media companies to revolutionizing influencer marketing. He explains how the idea for Clicks Talent came about, their focus on social media apps, and their personalized approach to working with over 5,000 TikTok influencers.
AB Lieberman On Clicks Talent’s Rise To The Top: Revolutionizing TikTok Influencer Marketing
Can you share a bit about your background and journey that led you to become the CEO of Clicks Talent?
Abraham (AB) Lieberman was born in New York. He moved to Israel with his family when he was ten and spent most of his teen years there. He joined the army when he was 18 years old and found himself having a lot of time on his hands. This allowed him to take on some freelance work, specifically for social media companies doing random work, like web development.
AB did some freelance work on the side in an attempt to make some extra cash. It wasn’t long before he worked with influencers and content creators. Little by little, he got more involved until he started his own company focusing on social media, content creation, and the influx of marketing influencers.
How did the idea for Clicks Talent come about? What gap in the market were you trying to address?
When AB was doing some freelance work, he had a client who launched a social media app and needed content creators, specifically university and college students, to create content for them. AB got paid based on the number of people he was able to bring in, which means the more people he had to make content for this client, the more he earned.
For months, AB found tons of people making content for the app using Facebook and Instagram.
However, the company shut down after a few months, and AB was left without any job. But because he was a freelancer, he understood he wasn’t a real employee and moved on.
After a few months, he received a call from an old friend and heard what he had done for his previous client. This friend was working next to the CEO of another social media video app and needed someone with the skills that AB showcased back when he was working as a freelancer.
AB’s friend connected him with the CEO, and the CEO tried to buy about 100+ university students that AB had in contact with when he was working with the app made by his previous client. The CEO wanted the list of university students, and AB insisted that the CEO had to go through him and that he will manage those students.
The CEO turned down AB’s offer but, three months later, reached out to AB again. The CEO admitted struggling to find the same network as AB have and decided to work with him this time.
AB went to his network and told the university students they needed to create content for another app and get paid. “We came on and helped create content,” AB recalls.
When AB was nearly at the end of his army service, he hired one of his friends to help him manage several video creators. This friend met a famous DJ when he was out one night and immediately put in contact with AB. The DJ invested in a new video app similar to TikTok and needed the same network AB had to market the app.
AB visited the DJ’s office and was hired on the spot. At this point, AB was hired by three different companies to bring in video creators for their apps. And that’s when he realized there’s a market where social media apps need content creators to create content.
“The idea was if you launched Instagram tomorrow, no one’s going to use it unless their friends, parents, siblings, and everyone they know is using Instagram,” AB explains. His team would get those first people and let them use the app daily to post videos and content and engage with the audience by commenting.
These people will do everything, so when the app is advertised or available for use, audiences will get excited and download the app. AB realized that there was a need for that and started his own company to provide that need. This has been AB’s focus for the last seven years. They help market and launch new social media apps and have worked with over 40 different apps, including live stream, short-form video, and audio platforms.
About a year after the company started, AB and his team started recruiting more content creators. They were recruiting university students through Facebook and Instagram and then expanded to getting talent from Musically. Musically was very popular then, and they started bringing in more people using the app.
Gradually, they built a massive network of over 5,000 TikTok influencers and TikTok content creators with up to 50 million followers. Clicks Talent was the first the bring this number of influencers and creators to their platform, and we’re able to secure good pricing with them.
Musically eventually became TikTok, and Clicks Talent started adding more services. “Now, we don’t only market and launch social media platforms; we also do influencer marketing on TikTok. A year or two later, we added Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat, and we’ve become a full social media influencer marketing company,” AB states.
How does Clicks Talent differentiate itself from other influencer marketing platforms? What unique features or services do you offer?
Clicks Talent is different because its main business isn’t influencer marketing; it’s social media apps. As of this writing, they’ve contracted with five social media platforms, which they provide over a hundred people to create content on a daily basis.
Clicks Talent was the first agency to do influencer marketing on TikTok; they were already offering the service before anybody heard of it. Their team is comprised of individuals who have in-depth experience in terms of marketing.
Another thing that differentiates Clicks Talent from its competitors is that they work with over 5,000 people. Most influencer agencies usually fall into two categories — either they work with a very small group of creators, around 5 to 20 creators, or they’ll work with tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, but it’s through a platform or software. Agencies that classify for the latter use mass emails, and influencers don’t know who they work with.
Clicks Talent is different as they work on a very personal level. They personally know the 5,000 people, and these individuals also know the team behind Clicks Talent. As a result, Clicks Talent has an extremely efficient and quick turnaround time. Their campaigns run quicker and are better, and are less risky for failures and hiccups. Because of these, things are just better for the client.
Most importantly, Clicks Talent also gets better pricing. “We’ve been working with these people for years. They might charge $10,000 a video right now, but I was the one getting them paid when they were only charging a hundred dollars a video,” AB explains.
In a way, these influencers owe AB, which is why Clicks Talent enjoys competitive pricing for some of the influencers today. AB also built a very personal relationship with the influencers and helped them make a lot of money.
Why did Clicks Talent choose to focus specifically on TikTok? What unique opportunities do you see in TikTok compared to other social media platforms?
Unlike Instagram and YouTube, which have been offering the same features for the past five to six years, TikTok is very innovative. TikTok constantly comes out with creative and original concepts — whether it’s about how the app is used, the features they offer, or the app’s focus.
“They’ve been able to change the app’s focus from lip-syncing content to comedy to entertainment. Now, people use TikTok to search for things more than people use Google,” AB explains. TikTok has successfully changed the narrative of what its app is and what it’s used for, and it’s still coming up with new features.
Could you share a few success stories or case studies that highlight the impact of your work with TikTok influencers?
Clicks Talent did its first-ever music promotion in 2019. It was their first time promoting music on TikTok, and it happened right after the song “Old Town Road” went viral on TikTok. During this time, people realized TikTok was a great place to advertise.
Clicks Talent was able to convince a record label in Germany to hire them. And although they never did anything in TikTok before this partnership and had no experience in influencer marketing at that time, the client paid Clicks Talent a thousand dollars. They found four influencers to post content on TikTok with the client’s song and had over 60,000 videos created with that song.
The campaign was really successful, and the client got more traction, views, and plays. It was Clicks Talent’s first-ever campaign, which they eventually used as a basis to get more clients.
From your perspective, what are some of the most common mistakes you see content creators making? How does Clicks Talent support creators in avoiding these pitfalls?
For AB, one of the common mistakes content creators make is working hard for years and then quitting for whatever reason while thinking that they can just go back at any time. AB has seen too many creators do this and come back years after realizing their mistake.
“Once you stop posting for a while, people forget you exist. Unfortunately, that’s the industry. You stopped posting for a month or two months, that’s it — you’re gone,” AB adds. Creators can’t come up and expect to get the same results they have before they quit — it doesn’t work that way.
AB finds it a little irresponsible for creators just to quit after they’ve done all the hard work. He speaks from his experience as a CEO also affected his mental health in many ways, similar to how creators are often mentally exhausted.
Instead of quitting, he advises creators to take a breather by going out for a run, trying out boxing, and even doing meditation. “You’ve got into where you are. You’ve done all the hard work. Now, go do that hard work on dealing with your mental health but don’t give it all up because you’re feeling depressed today,” AB advises all content creators.
In addition, AB doesn’t want to push creators to the point of mental breakdowns as they’re being forced to do something they don’t want to do. When a creator comes to him, telling them of their intentions to quit, he just tells them how their decision will affect their future more than it’ll affect Clicks Talent.
What advice would you give to a brand looking to collaborate with TikTok influencers for the first time?
For brands planning to do influencer marketing with a TikTok influencer, AB advises them to go with the ones who are going to cost them the least, deliver the best results, and have been doing influencer marketing longer than anybody else.
AB has seen a lot of brands that work with a PR agency or marketing agency that has been in the industry since the 1990s but don’t have any experience in maximizing TikTok. “My advice is if you’re not going to work with us, work with somebody who specializes in TikTok and knows what TikTok is,” AB adds.
How can brands ensure they’re getting the most out of these partnerships?
According to AB, brands have to decide on their own KPIs before they start any campaign. Brands must have clear goals so that at the end of that campaign, they can easily determine whether or not they hit their goals.
As the creator economy continues to grow, what advice would you give to aspiring influencers and content creators looking to monetize their online presence effectively?
AB believes in the power of creating quality content and quality over quantity but also mentions the importance of quantity. For instance, creators who make really good content but only post once a month will not make it big in today’s ever-changing content creator space.
“Once in a blue moon, people need to know that you’re alive, that you’re there, that you’re reliable, and that they can expect content from you on a scheduled date,” AB adds.
Can you provide some key tips for influencers seeking to thrive in the Creator Economy?
AB’s tips for influencers it to be professional and reliable. He adds, “If you say you’re going to do something, do it. I don’t care if you’re going to lose money from it. Do it — it’s going to impress brands.”
AB has seen agencies impress people. When they say they’re going to do something, they follow through. Unfortunately, 75% of creators don’t do what they say they’re going to do, and only 25% actually do.
Another tip AB has for influencers is to don’t be greedy. He has seen influencers with marketing and PR companies and will ask clients to pay them $30,000 just because one client offered to pay that amount.
If everyone else is offering an influencer a hundred dollars, chances are, that’s more than what they’re worth. Influencers should stick to what they’re worth and charge accordingly. They shouldn’t be greedy by overcharging clients because if they do, they’ll end up making a lot less in the long run.
Influencers should take what they can get within reason. If they’re getting $1,000 per campaign and someone offers to pay them $10, obviously, they should turn down the offer and work with other clients. But if they’re getting an average of $1,000 and someone offers $900, they shouldn’t say “no.” Instead, they should take the $900 and not be greedy.
How do you see the current state of the creator economy? What trends have you noticed?
The creator economy is definitely growing. Every day, more and more people are becoming content creators. AB sees more people becoming content creators and influencers, not necessarily on purpose. This means that people nowadays have a funny idea with their dog at home, they post the video, and then it goes viral. All of a sudden, they’ll have 50,000 followers and build a community overnight.
Looking ahead, what are your predictions for the creator economy over the next three to five years?
AB sees the creator economy getting into crazier content. “I believe we’re going to get to a point where things are just so absolutely insane that they’re going to become normal,” AB adds. He feels that the economy will go back to its roots — back to a time when Vine-type videos took over and were loved by all audiences.
What role do you see emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality playing in the future of influencer marketing and the creator economy?
In the future, AB sees AI and virtual reality helping with captions on social media and coming up with content ideas. AI, virtual reality, and other technologies will be extremely helpful in the creator economy in all aspects.
How is Clicks Talent incorporating AI into its services?
Clicks Talent has been using AI for two years already. The team had been using ChatGPT long before the world even heard of the platform. They’re even big fans of ChatGPT and have been using it for their daily processes — from creating content for social media pages to completing day-to-day tasks.
What does the future hold for Clicks Talent? Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives you can share?
Clicks Talent is currently working on several projects; one is an eBook that provides how-tos on influencer marketing. They’re also building a summit and more tech. “I believe the future of Clicks Talent is more software-focused,” AB states.
Their goal is to pivot and become a SaaS company in the near future. They’re working on software to implement that and to help their clients more.