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TikTok chops are ‘huge’ for creative agencies right now

Shops like 360i and Super Digital are specifically looking to hire content creators dedicated to TikTok, a recruiter told us.
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Francis Scialabba

· 4 min read

Good news for people who spend too much time on TikTok—creative agencies (probably) want to hire you.

As agencies continue finding ways to attract and retain employees, some roles and skill sets are in higher demand than others. At creative shops specifically, TikTok creators are climbing that list.

“TikTok’s changed everything,” Toby Barlow, creative chief at Detroit agency Lafayette American, told us. As clients show more interest in the platform, which is expected to bring in as much as $12 billion in ad revenue this year, Barlow said he needs to hire accordingly.

TikTok isn’t in the dark about that, either; it recently rolled out a program that it claims will help creative agencies succeed on the platform.

But that’s not all—creative agencies are looking to hire standout talent in a few different areas, including copywriting.

“We’re actually being pushed harder on the creative side than I’ve seen happening in years, frankly,” Barlow said.

TikTok on the clock

Kelly Gordon, senior marketing agent at recruitment firm Creative People, told us that creative agencies are on the hunt for lo-fi video creators.

“Right now, I’m actually speaking with a few agencies that are solely going after content creators,” meaning people who are comfortable picking up their phone and shooting video content, while also understanding TikTok and Instagram’s creative tools.

Gordon said she’s seen agencies such as 360i and Super Digital specifically looking to hire content creators dedicated to TikTok. “They’ll be working on different brand accounts. They’ll be working with a social media manager, a social media strategist, a producer, too, but they’re the ones that are actually in their homes filming,” she explained.

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Hope-Elizabeth Sonam, head of talent experience for flexible-talent agency We Are Rosie, also told us that TikTok chops are “huge” for creative agencies at the moment.

She explained that, in We Are Rosie’s talent network of more than 14,000 marketers, many of them have Facebook and Instagram experience. But finding an expert in TikTok creative is more difficult, she said.

“Particularly on the B2B side, there was a big aversion to TikTok when it first came out,” Sonam said, saying consumer-facing brands were quicker to embrace it. But now, agencies that represent B2B brands are hunting for TikTok talent as well.

The rest is still unwritten

These days, copywriters are particularly in need for—you guessed it—social media accounts.

“I’ve seen a lot of demand for people who are going to be working on social, but come from copy backgrounds,” Gordon told us. She said copywriters who have a really strong brand voice—and can execute with agility, especially on platforms like Twitter—are particularly in need right now.

Kirsten Ludwig, president and founder of creative agency In Good Co, also told us that copywriters who understand how to master brand voice are in demand, explaining that brand voice is often an underutilized way to stand out.

“Copy voice is an inexpensive way to really separate yourself. And so if you look at brands like Oatly, or Chobani, they’re able to do things that are right for that particular brand, and be known for creating a very unique voice that kind of brings them to life and separates them,” Ludwig explained.

Additionally, multilingual copywriters have also become more sought-after, at least according to Madison Utendahl, VP of social strategy at creative agency Known and founder and chief creative officer of design agency Utendahl Creative. Especially with the rise of DTC brands—which are often internationally sold—it’s important to have copy that can pop in multiple languages, Utendahl explained.

For example, Utendahl worked with Halsey’s brand, About-Face, which has a 50% international audience, she said—and having multilingual copywriters was an “incredible asset” here. “You learn so much more about your consumer and the teams involved to bring these products to life if you have people who can properly communicate in their language,” she told us.

“Especially in the US, all these new kitschy, fun DTC brands use really conversational, colloquial language, that if English is not your first language, might totally go over your head,” Utendahl explained. “But if you can converse and have a copywriter who is fluent in Spanish or fluent in French and can understand the idioms between both languages and help translate that, then you have just expanded your audience for that product, especially on digital reach.”

6/30/22: This story has been updated to note that Madison Utendahl is founder and chief creative officer of design agency Utendahl Creative.

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