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Stride Social Co-Founder Shares His Secret To Helping Creators Build Sustainable Businesses

Talent agencies play a crucial role in helping creators and brands navigate the challenges and opportunities that arise. Alex Hendy, co-founder of Stride Social, has been at the forefront of this industry, drawing from his experiences as a content creator and his deep understanding of influencer marketing.

His early passion for content creation was driven by a desire for personal growth and confidence. “Creators are born because they’re missing something in life or [seeking] a confidence booster to grow them as humans or people,” Alex explains. After undergoing speech therapy as a child, he found that creating content on YouTube helped him overcome his struggles with communication.

Stride Social Co-Founder Shares His Secret To Helping Creators Build Sustainable Businesses

As Alex’s following grew, he began understanding the intricacies of creating engaging content and attracting viewers. However, his early YouTube career was cut short due to copyright strikes. Undeterred, he discovered TikTok and foresaw its potential to become a major social media platform. The young creator quickly found success on the app, amassing over 5.5 million followers and generating 1.2 billion views.

Drawing from his experiences as a creator and his interactions with talent agencies, Alex co-founded Stride Social. He saw an opportunity to help other creators and enable them to focus on aspects that he felt were important but lacking in other agencies.

The agency focuses on providing a superior experience for its talent, prioritizing networking and brand-building opportunities. “It’s not just about having that next branding if it’s big or small. It’s also about networking, going to events, and [treating influencers] like celebrities,” Alex says.

Stride Social’s Mission and Services

Alex’s talent agency, Stride Social, is on a mission to enhance the experience of being a creator. “The value side is very much, let’s improve your experience of being a creator,” the now-entrepreneur explains. “Whether that’s from helping you work with your dream company or from helping you set up your own business around your social media.”

Stride Social aims to help creators build “ladders” around their social media presence, ensuring they are not solely reliant on their online platforms. Alex proudly shares stories of creators who have built their own apps or products, leveraging their social media fame to create sustainable businesses.

On the influencer marketing side, Stride Social’s goal is to make it as accessible as possible for companies worldwide, particularly those in Asia, to work with influencers in the US, UK, Canada, and Europe. The agency offers a comprehensive range of services to its talent, from negotiating contracts and handling legal and accounting matters to building brands and creating opportunities for content usage and collaboration.

“We help them with finding their best [partners],” Alex says, emphasizing the importance of connecting creators with the right individuals to help them grow their businesses.

For brands, Stride Social focuses on activations, developing strategies, and proposing influencer campaigns. Alex recalls a successful campaign in which the agency brought 10-15 YouTube creators to Las Vegas to create content around a tech company’s product launch at a trade show. The agency also specializes in content creation, particularly user-generated content (UGC), which has become increasingly popular as brands seek cost-effective ways to advertise their products and services.

One of the main challenges Alex faced while building Stride Social was finding the right team members. “It’s a very small world. So everyone knows everyone,” he says. “We sort of struggled with finding the right people to work for our agency.” To address this issue, Stride Social began hiring creators who wanted to pursue a career in influencer marketing, bringing their unique perspectives and experiences to the agency.

In the last two years, Stride Social has specialized in working with product review and tech creators, particularly those who create content for platforms like TikTok and Amazon. “We’ve realized this is where a lot of brands are coming to because they want to work with, you know, creators who can promote a product,” Alex explains. The agency believes that by focusing on this niche, it can provide the best service to its creators and offer brands access to a vast network of influential product reviewers.

The Blueprint for Overcoming Hurdles and Achieving Success

According to Alex, brands often struggle to find the right creator for their campaigns and products, particularly when targeting influencers in different regions. Cultural differences and language barriers can make it difficult for brands to understand the trends and preferences of creators and audiences in other countries.

Stride Social helps brands overcome these challenges by providing resources and expertise to connect them with the right influencers. “We help those types of clients really understand what [American, Canadian, or British] creators want and what the audience wants to see because it just won’t work if you do the same strategy,” he explains.

On the creator side, Alex notes that many struggle with building a long-lasting content strategy. As creators grow and mature, their content needs to evolve to stay relevant and engaging to their audience. “A lot of creators come to us as well, and they need advice,” Alex says. 

One of Stride Social’s success stories involves helping a creator named Jack Chalmers (@jackmjchalmers), known for his Gordon Ramsay impressions, pursue his dream of becoming a voice actor. The agency connected Thomas with a cartoon series and music label, where he secured a one-year contract to provide voice acting alongside industry veterans. “That was a good way to impact someone’s career,” Alex reflects.

Alex Gives His Predictions for the Creator Economy and Advice for Creators

Alex believes the number of influencers will continue to grow, making it increasingly challenging for creators to stand out and for brands to find the right partners. “There’s never been so many influencers in the world as today,” Alex notes. So the big opportunities are [becoming scarce].”

The abundance of creators can make it difficult for brands to identify the perfect influencer for their products or campaigns. Alex suggests that brands may struggle to find the right creators amidst the “clutter” of the creator economy.

Creators, on the other hand, will face increased competition and will need to focus on being as original and engaging as possible to capture their audience’s attention. “It’s going to be more difficult to become a top creator,” Alex explains. “So you have to do some really cool videos. And now it’s not about being clickbait or trying to create some mad thumbnail or trying to be as clickbait as possible; it’s about being as original as possible sometimes.”

For entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in the industry, Alex advises identifying the challenges creators face and developing solutions to address those needs. He cites the example of companies that help creators receive faster payments by purchasing their contracts, allowing them to maintain a steady income as full-time influencers.

When it comes to advice for new creators, Alex emphasizes the importance of differentiating oneself from others in the same niche. “Start looking and start thinking about how you can be different from the other creators,” he suggests. “How am I going to what’s the word? How am I going to? Draw these people and watch me for it. And that’s sort of something you need to think about; how am I going to be as unique as possible, but also be as fun as possible because people want to watch fun and fun and engaging content.”

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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