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A Decade Into The Creator Economy, James Creech Has Built The Ultimate Job Board For Creator Professionals

A Decade Into The Creator Economy, James Creech Has Built The Ultimate Job Board For Creator Professionals

James Creech has spent over a decade at the forefront of influencer marketing and the creator economy. After selling his influencer marketing software company Paladin to Brandwatch, the entrepreneur launched Creator Economy Jobs – a specialty job board tailored to the creator space. He identified an underserved market need and launched “the premier job board,” aiming to connect qualified candidates with career opportunities at businesses efficiently focused on creators, influencers, and the broader ecosystem surrounding them.

“The creator economy is very specific as an industry,” James says. “There are types of roles that don’t necessarily exist in other fields — talent management, influencer marketing, creator partnerships.”

The venture is a passion project for James, who is driven by “helping people earn a living doing what they love” in this industry. With creator entrepreneurship flourishing and more influencers building their own media brands and product companies, the entrepreneur anticipates a growing trend of creators hiring operational leaders and partnering with experienced executives to help manage and scale their businesses.

The inspiration was James frequently being asked to recommend candidates to friends and other founders hiring in this industry. “It was crazy to me that there wasn’t a central resource for that in our space,” he says. At the same time, layoffs were happening, new businesses were starting up, and companies were looking to hire.”

How James Addressed Early Obstacles at Creator Economy Jobs

One of the biggest hurdles in launching Creator Economy Jobs was finding enough time to devote to the nascent venture. “The biggest challenge as a young company with limited resources is trying to get the word out and help spread your mission,” he says.

In its first six months, building awareness has been key. James has utilized LinkedIn and an industry newsletter with over 5,000 subscribers to spotlight job seekers and raise Creator Economy Jobs’ profile. “We’re very mission-driven,” he explains. Our objective is to help over a million people find their dream job working in the creator economy.”

The company stands out for its hyper-focused lens on a space James sees as underserved by existing job platforms. “There wasn’t anything where if I am a creator economy company and I’ve just raised seed funding, and I need to hire all these people, where do I start?”.

James recognizes other platforms like The Publish Press and Inhouse Creators, which assist with hiring creators at brands and startups, such as YouTube Jobs and Roster, and facilitate hiring for creator teams. However, he identified a gap for companies in the creator economy ecosystem looking to scale their operations and teams.

For candidates, James envisions personalized job recommendations, easy application processes, and expedited hiring cycles. On the employer side, the goal is to surface the most qualified applicants through deeper data, insights, and robust candidate profiles. “We’re building things into the platform to evolve the matchmaking process and find those right fits faster,” James explains. 

Rise of Creator-Led Brands and Businesses

One of the most significant trends James has noticed is “the rise of creator-led brands” in recent years. From early pioneers like Michelle Phan with Ipsy to more recent examples like KSI and Logan Paul’s Prime hydration drink and Mr. Beast’s Feastables snacks, an increasing number of top creators are leveraging their audiences to launch consumer products companies.

“You’ve got this media business, and you can essentially monetize your marketing channel,” James explains. “But then you’ve got this commerce side of your business, which tends to have better unit economics if you find a loyal, engaged audience.”

As these creator-founded businesses scale, James sees an opportunity for more operational support. “We’re seeing more creators hiring a CEO, president, or operating partner to focus on the business side while the creator is freed up for the creative work,” he states.

The proliferation of creator-led businesses is also driving consolidation, with private equity-backed firms like Lunar X, Electrify Video Partners, and Little Monsterrolling up creator-driven media companies.

Expanding the Definition of What It Means to Be a Creator

James believes the definition of a “creator” will significantly expand in the years ahead. While the term traditionally brings to mind Instagram, TikTok, and other social stars, he sees a “broader definition emerging of anyone who has some sort of creative passion that they pursue.”

“With every generation of social media, we are expressing more of our identity through these platforms, and more people are becoming content creators, whether casual, hobbyist or professional,” James states.

He points to examples that emerged during the pandemic of doctors, nurses, and other professionals who embraced content creation on platforms like TikTok and LinkedIn as a creative outlet in addition to their primary careers. This trend of “multi-hyphenate” creators is poised to grow.

“As the ecosystem evolves, as platforms change, new content formats come around, that’s going to create a lot more opportunities for creators of all types,” James predicts.

James’s VidCon Sessions to Explore Creator Entrepreneurship

VidCon started as a hub for YouTube and other online content creators. Over time, it has expanded to embrace talents from TikTok, Instagram, Twitch, and beyond. It organizes annual gatherings for digital creators, video enthusiasts, and influencers. The event includes Creator tracks, performances, meet-ups, and other activities. This year’s VidCon will be held from June 26-29 in Anaheim, California. James takes the stage during two panel discussions: 

A Decade Into The Creator Economy, James Creech Has Built The Ultimate Job Board For Creator Professionals

At the first panel, James will examine the growing trend of creators hiring operational leaders like presidents and COOs to help them scale their businesses. “I’m grateful to share the stage with some amazing people in our industry who do that work,” he says. “We’ll pick their brains about what works and how you establish a successful partnership with a creator.”

The second panel will feature creators who have built multi-faceted careers straddling individual content creation and industry roles like head of content, chief TikTok officer, and agency founder. “We’re going to talk about balancing the personal creative pursuits and the professional aspect of our industry,” James explains.

The sessions will allow him to dig into the dynamics as more creators move from solely content creation into entrepreneurship and operational leadership of their own companies and brands.

Finding Fulfillment in Helping Others Pursue Their Passions

For James, one of the most rewarding aspects of his work with Creator Economy Jobs is the opportunity to help others build careers in the creator economy. “I feel very blessed that we wake up every day and help other people earn a living doing what they love,” he states. “It’s an amazing thing.”

Beyond just facilitation through the job platform, James finds motivation from the entrepreneurial creators and companies he interacts with regularly. “I am inspired by talented creators and entrepreneurs building in our space,” he says. “I want to continue to support and serve that community, which is an industry that has given so much to me.”

After over a decade working at the vanguard of the influencer marketing and creator economy industries, James sees Creator Economy Jobs as a way to give back. “If I can help in some small way – helping people who are hiring or job seekers find their next opportunity – that’s what gets me out of bed and excited,” the industry vet explains.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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