About Meredith Jacobson
Meredith Jacobson is excited to attend and speak at VidCon after several years and looks forward to reconnecting with industry professionals and building new relationships. She’ll discuss unconventional career paths in influencer marketing, highlighting the various roles available and how anyone can forge a successful career in the creator economy. She also shares insights on the importance of diversifying revenue streams, leveraging data and analytics, and embracing emerging trends and technological advancements in the industry.
As an Influencer Marketing Strategist and Founder of We Are Boosters, how does it feel to be attending and speaking at VidCon? What are you most looking forward to at the conference?
Meredith looks forward to attending this year’s VidCon because she hasn’t been to one since 2018. She loves the energy of the event and is excited to meet many people with whom she built relationships over the pandemic.
She’s also looking forward to meeting people in person with whom she only gets to interact over the phone and Zoom and seeing old friends from when she used to live in Los Angeles and work for influencer agencies.
Speaking in an event as huge as the VidCon has always been Meredith’s goal since 2017. “When I was working at agencies, I used to beg my bosses to let me go. A couple of times, they let me, and a couple of times, they didn’t,” Meredith adds.
The fact that she’s not only attending this year’s event but is also one of the speakers makes the VidCon 2023 more exciting and special for Meredith.
Could you share some insights into the specific topics you’ll be discussing during your session at VidCon? How do these topics relate to the current state of the creator economy and influencer marketing?
The topic of Meredith’s panel is unconventional career paths in influencer marketing. She finds the topic perfect for her as she had the privilege of seeing so many angles of the industry before she started working with agencies.
She also worked as a freelancer before and had the opportunity to pop into different companies in different capacities and work closely with individuals who have very interesting jobs. These jobs were all in the creator industry.
Meredith recognizes the number of people who wants to work in the industry but fails to see the bigger picture. When kids, teens, and young adults look at influencer content, they only see the tip of the iceberg.
“And I always love speaking with people who aren’t as familiar with the industry and who don’t understand all of the variety of roles and the ways different skill sets can feed into the creator economy,” Meredith explains. She wants to set the record straight and let people know that there are so many ways anyone — regardless of their skill set — can build a career in this space.
VidCon is known for bringing together creators, brands, and industry professionals. What opportunities do you see for networking and collaboration at the conference, and how do you plan to leverage these opportunities?
Meredith is the founder of the community of freelancers and works across brands, agencies, vendors, and creators. Their creator services have been growing in the past year because so many creators are building more sophisticated businesses, and there are now freelancers who are very well-suited to help them do that.
For Meredith, the opportunity is to get the word out about the fact that their community is available and that there are individuals who can provide extra support for creators who are eyeing to build their own businesses.
Meredith is also looking forward to meeting other people who are passionate about freelancing and are looking to make that leap for themselves. She wants to help them understand the landscape and the number of opportunities available to them, as well.
With your extensive experience in casting creators, executing campaigns, and supporting brands, what advice would you give to aspiring creators who want to make the most of their presence at VidCon?
“Just talk to as many people as you can,” Meredith advises. The community can be a bit overwhelming, especially with the presence of the bigger, more established creators. When interacting with these creators, Meredith suggests staying respectful at times and avoiding bombarding creators with too many questions.
Aspiring creators should use VidCon as an opportunity to create some sort of personal connection with creators and other players in the industry because the relationships they build here will last beyond the conference.
In your opinion, what sets VidCon apart from other conferences in terms of its impact on the creator economy and influencer marketing industry as a whole?
VidCon is one of the original conferences in the space, but there are several other events that have cropped up recently, and there has been competition with other things happening simultaneously.
But because Meredith hasn’t attended VidCon for years, she’s interested to see who the attendees are, what the vibe is like, and if it aligns with what she remembers from the previous years.
She heard mixed comments from people about VidCon. And hearing people speaking from a creator’s point of view and industry point of view gives her points of comparison to all the years passed and what VidCon has that’s unique to itself.
With the rapid growth of platforms like TikTok and the emergence of new content formats, how do you see the landscape of influencer marketing evolving, and how does VidCon play a role in shaping that evolution?
The creator economy as a whole has grown in the number of creators that have a gigantic following. In previous years, there were a core group of 250 stars in VidCon, and today, there are thousands of individuals who quantify as stars.
Can you share any success stories or memorable experiences from past VidCon conferences that have had a significant impact on your career or the influencer marketing projects you’ve been involved in?
Meredith started working in influencer marketing in 2014. The following year, she attended VidCon with Lucas Cruikshank, who created the character Fred Figglehorn. It was during that VidCon that Meredith finally realized the gravity of how big and passionate the fans of these YouTube creators are.
Meredith distinctly remembers riding down the escalator with Lucas in one of the hotels with a lobby full of people. One person saw Lucas, and it wasn’t long before everyone in the entire lobby saw him and immediately gathered around the foot of the escalator. “I had to basically drag him through to keep him from being bombarded by everyone,” Meredith adds.
As an Influencer Marketing Strategist with extensive experience in the industry, how would you describe the current state of the creator economy? What are the major trends and challenges you’ve observed?
Two things Meredith particularly saw in the creator economy are that it’s both expanding and distributing. “There’s a lot more happening, but it’s happening across a lot more people. And so, the trends that people have been reporting of budgets getting reduced,” Meredith explains.
Big talents still command high fees, but others are having trouble landing bigger deals, and management companies feel like the money is drying up a little bit.
Meredith believes there are just so many creators now that brands, agencies, and platforms are able to distribute the money in a little different way. The creator economy is still incredibly vibrant, and a lot of work needs to be done; it’s just not as concentrated in such a small pool of talent.
How important is it for creators to diversify their revenue streams beyond brand partnerships? What are some alternative monetization strategies that you recommend they explore?
For Meredith, it all depends on the creator’s goals. If someone wants to be a full-time creator and use that as their main source of income and they want to build a business, then they need to diversify in whatever direction is most sustainable to them.
“There are many revenue options, and it’s just about focusing on the ones that come the most naturally and align the most with the creator themselves,” Meredith adds. They should turn into revenue options that they’re good at and passionate about and something they can do without forcing it.
For instance, some creators are natural at live streaming, while some hate the idea of being live. In short, creators shouldn’t force themselves to earn money from things they don’t love doing or are passionate about.
On the other side of the coin, there are also creators who have full-time jobs. These creators don’t necessarily have to worry about diversifying the creator side of their businesses because it depends on how being a creator fills their lives. And if content creation is just something they’re doing for fun or to connect with a very niche community, it’s okay to just let it be and not worry about brand deals or building a multi-million empire online.
How can creators leverage data and analytics to make informed decisions and optimize their content strategies in order to reach and engage their target audience more effectively?
Every little bit of data can help inform what the creators’ audiences are responding to, what content they’re most interested in, and what isn’t working. “As a creator, you want to make sure that the data you’re focusing on is good data, and you want to make sure you’re making informed decisions based on enough data points,” Meredith tells us.
For instance, for creators who started posting content on a specific niche and hopped into another niche and then realized their audience doesn’t like the change, they should give themselves a chance and use data. Instead of completely dismissing the idea of posting content about a new niche, creators should use the data to determine what type of content comes naturally to them.
What are your predictions for the influencer marketing industry for the remainder of the year? Are there any emerging trends or technological advancements that you believe will shape the landscape?
Meredith finds AI fierce and is definitely present in the influencer marketing industry today. In fact, she recently talked to someone who told her that she has a two-person team, but that team feels like it’s comprised of ten individuals, thanks to the AI they’re using.
Can you share any advice or actionable tips for creators and brands looking to navigate the ever-changing dynamics of the creator economy and thrive in the remainder of the year?
Tapping into an event like VidCon and meeting people who have been in the industry for years allowed Meredith to see different trends come and go. These also enabled her to have an awareness of the trends that are acceptable and not acceptable in the industry.
“If you’re a creator who’s looking for help managing your deals, look for somebody who has at least four or five years of experience, has the relationships that can help you, and point you in the right direction,” Meredith advises.
She also advises creators and brands to start finding and building those relationships in VidCon, and We Are Boosters, especially if they need some additional support. There are a lot of companies and offers out there today, and anyone who wants to thrive in the industry should make sure that they’re making the right decisions and know what to look out for.
Lastly, can you discuss some future plans or exciting projects for We Are Boosters that attendees at VidCon and freelancers in the industry can look forward to?
We Are Boosters are about to launch some new interactive and engaging ways that the freelancers in their community are going to work together. They’re going to launch a virtual co-working space in the coming months.
“So, we’ll give freelancers from all over the country and all over the world the opportunity to work together over a specific day every week,” Meredith adds. We are Boosters continue to grow, and will continue finding amazing opportunities for freelancers.