Colleen Stauffer is the Head of Marketing and Communications at Creative Juice. This financial technology company offers business banking for creators along with a host of creator business tools.
Before joining Creative Juice in January, Colleen worked at Pinterest as the Global Head of Creator Marketing for 4+ years.
She explains, “I built their [Pinterest’s] creator team from the ground up. I went to my boss, the CMO, and said, “Hey, we need a creator marketing team.” So, I literally built it with one other person, and when I left, there were about 70 people on my team globally.”
Before working at Pinterest, Colleen worked at Clorox and various advertising agencies in Chicago.
“I have this thread throughout my career of chasing the next thing.”
What is Creative Juice?
Creative Juice is a financial technology company built to help creators with financial literacy and business tools to help them run their businesses. In other words, it’s a creator business account.
“The creator economy is here. It’s happening. It’s evolving and growing, and they [the creators] really haven’t been paid attention to and taken seriously as a real job.”
Colleen explains, “[Creative Juice] is banking, financing, and business tools for creators, our ambition is to make banking and financing easy and accessible for all monetizing creators.”
She notes that many creators may enter a traditional bank to open a business account. However, when asked about their business, the bank may show them the exit because many banks don’t recognize content creation as a career yet.
In addition to providing banking options, creators can also receive funding and use business tools, like invoicing, taxes, and cash flow management, through Creative Juice.
“Whether they have 5,000 followers or 1 million followers, they can run their business on Creative Juice. There are definitely platforms out there that are focused on that top-tier creator. The 1%. The [Our] ambition is to help all monetized creators.”
Creative Juice is open to all creators. No matter how much money they make or what platform they are on.
Creative Juice Case Studies
Growwithjo, a popular fitness creator who helps new moms and women grow their confidence and hit their fitness goals, is a Creative Juice user.
Colleen shares, “She [Jo] was able to grow her subscriber count due to the ability to not have to focus as much on those day-to-day admin tasks and running her business with Creative Juice helped take that pressure off of her.”
She explains that Jo and her husband, who is her manager, used Creative Juice’s funding to rent a space to create content outside of her home. In addition, Jo and other creators love the community that Creative Juice offers.
“We’re growing this amazing Juice creator community, and they can talk to each other and tap into each other, and that’s such a cool thing about this audience is that they really learn from each other.”
After joining Creative Juice, Tati and Prince of Maynards TV also saw significant success. They credit Creative Juice with taking them from YouTuber to Content Creator to Business Owner. Their views and subscribers increased 3x, and they doubled their video production after joining Creative Juice.
In addition, Austin Hankwitz, a creative entrepreneur in the personal finance and investing space, credits Creative Juice with allowing him to manage his cash flow better after quitting his full-time job. He also increased the quality of his content by purchasing new software and equipment with Creative Juice AdSense Funds.
As a newer career option, influencers and creators can face many challenges from traditional financial institutions and a lack of available information about managing your finances as a creator.
Colleen explains that most creators get into creating content because of a deep passion for what they do.
“They’re [Creators] not always the most savvy when it comes to taxes or separating their personal and business expenses, so that education piece is what we’re really learning here.”
For example, creators may want to create some liability protection between what you’re doing as a business, and your personal assets. In other words, your hard earned assets like your car or house could be at risk and that’s where an LLC comes in handy.
“Those true basics of building and running a business are intimidating. At Creative Juice, if we can be that one resource and place for them to educate themselves, our job has done a little bit in making sure that we’re empowering creators to feel confident in running a business.”
The Future of Creator Finances
Another aspect of creator finances that Creative Juice has been looking into is Web 3.0. Many creators are looking to use blockchain technology, NFTs, bitcoin, and more with their audiences.
Colleen shares that if creators want to take funding from Creative Juice to launch an NFT, they can use the funds for that.
“For us, it’s really about enabling that creator to use the funds in whatever way they want. I see a future where we start to have different monetary avenues, with, all the different currencies happening, but right now, we’re really focused on solving today’s problems of giving creators a banking solution to grow their creator business..”
She stresses that Creative Juice also tells creators in their messaging daily that being a creator is a business. If you are making money from your content, you no longer want to look at your content as a hobby because come tax time, you won’t be able to deduct expenses if you file as a hobby.
Colleen and Creative Juice also expect to see more creators building tangible businesses, such as Emma Chamberlain, who created her own coffee brand.
“If there’s one takeaway: it’s creators, you are a business, do not sell yourself short and function like a hobby. Run like a business and make sure that you’re managing your money in that way too.”
The Future & Closing Thoughts
Colleen shares that she believes the one silver lining of the pandemic is the rise of the creator economy.
“It [the pandemic] gave people this moment to say, “Life’s too short. What am I doing? Why am I still in my nine to five? And I’m so unhappy, and my side hustle is about to make more money than my nine to five, or it has the potential to make more money than my nine to five.” You can have a little bit more balance in your life.”
She gives the example that many creators were featured in Superbowl commercials this year, and she anticipates creators continuing to replace typical Hollywood a-listers.
When asked about the future, she shares, “Our hope is that other FinTech companies and traditional institutions really start to recognize this creator economy and creators as a profession.”
Creative Juice will also be coming out with a new program soon to help enable, encourage, and incentivize creators more.
Sign up at getjuice.com.