Joyce, a modern millenial in the creative and tech world talks about what it's like working in Creator Marketing and staying inspired at TikTok.
To celebrate AAPI heritage Month, Joyce ran TikTok's WeAreAPI Campaign to highlight the community's history, culture, stories, and activism through livestreams, activations, and more.
Creative Chats are Clubhouse talks where we invite creatives to speak about their creative journey, lessons learned, and industry tips.
This Creative Chat is for you if...
You're interested in working in marketing or with creators
You want to seek a job in the creative tech world
You want advice on how to excel in a tech job
You want advice on how to stay inspired
You love scrolling through TikTok!
In this Creative Chat, we asked...
What does a day in your life in Creator Marketing look like?
In Creator Marketing, we market creators and provide opportunities and platforms to elevate them.
I focus on creator elevation, which means working cross-functionally with our PR team, marketing team, or existing campaigns to plug in creators that we find fit well into these opportunities.
If we have a story we’re pitching to a news outlet, I would curate a list of creators based on the list of TikTok creatives that we work closely with. For marketing, if we have a TikTok campaign coming up, we would pick creators that fit in with the messaging and story.
What’s your creative process for putting together a campaign and pitching it to the team?
What’s crazy about TikTok is that we’re a company that’s only about three years old. The company culture here is still very much like a startup.
When one of us sees an event, heritage month, or celebration that we want to capture, we can start the project plan ourselves and then pitch it to our lead.
AAPI Heritage Month is something we started two years ago as a really small brunch, where we invited about 20 creators to brunch with us. Last year, we changed it to a virtual event because of COVID. This year, we turned it into a large-scale, company-wide campaign. We brought in marketing to create launch videos on our social accounts as well as our media team to get nonprofit organizations involved so we have some donation aspects to it. Since I was one of the first people to bring up AAPI Heritage Month this year, I got the opportunity to lead the campaign. I think this was the biggest project I was given, and it was a really fun learning opportunity.
Would you say each campaign is based on a current trend?
Obviously with rising racism and the hate that the Asian community has been receiving, we wanted to be more intentional with our messaging and theme.
This year’s theme was “Know Us.” People know the AAPI community for certain stereotypical things, but we wanted the message to be “Know Us,” as in "know who we truly are." We all want to be seen for the creatives we are and the talent we bring so that was the platform we wanted to provide to the AAPI community with our campaign. This year, the campaign was more intentional and serious whereas last year, it was more celebratory and fun.
How do you navigate putting together such a meaningful campaign that speaks to everyone when this is a sensitive topic and people have so many different opinions? Did you run into any joys or challenges putting this campaign together?
The challenge that we initially faced was how to approach the current climate and spread the message in a way that won’t be misunderstood by some people. Sometimes the message can go over people’s head, but I think that became the joy of it because we were able to work with creators to dig into and dissect what the message, “Know Us,” means.
We launched the month off with a manifesto video calling everyone to know us and support us. This was one of the joys because we kicked off the month on such a powerful note.
Is it hard for your team to navigate having the right voice because you’re one of the top companies in the content creator space?
There are a lot of eyes on us but I think that’s what our team likes — being able to have that large platform. I’m very lucky to be working with a group of such passionate people. Whenever we have AAPI Heritage Month or Pride, which is coming up, or Black History Month, which we celebrated back in February, we have people from those communities leading the campaigns and it’s just really fun coming up with ideas together.
Every year, we try to improve and this is what keeps our work exciting.
How are you able to feel constantly inspired and bring fresh, new ideas to the table?
When I was first applying to jobs, I was creating YouTube videos for fun. I started looking for jobs that would work with creators and that’s how I applied for the partner manager role at TikTok, which used to be called Musically (back when I applied in college).
Content creators are still the people that inspire me today. Identifying as a creator or telling myself that I am a creative person helps me see other people’s content in a different way where I can be inspired by them. One example is Jeff Wittek.
Some background on Jeff:
He is a former member of David Dobrik’s vlog squad and he has recently released a docuseries of his experience with that friend group. David Dobrik is a YouTuber who has recently come under fire for putting people in his vlog squad in dangerous or comprising situations for the sake of views, when he himself is never the one engaging in those dangerous activities. Jeff recently got into an almost fatal accident because of David, and his docuseries highlights his mental battle, which was triggered by his physical eye injury.
The way Jeff told his story was so creatively done and that is the type of work that inspires me.
At work, when we’re giving creators feedback on what content to make, I always bring it back to other creators I’m inspired by and share what I’ve seen.
What advice can you share regarding technical skills or traits to grow into the position that you’re in now? What advice would you give yourself three years ago when you first started your job?
1. Take initiative
I would encourage new members of our team to put in the effort to learn how our teams work, how the company flows, and what the processes are like so that when someone (like a manager) needs help, you’re able to step in. Showing that you have initiative and are willing to do the work demonstrates your drive to supervisors and managers.
2. Be solution-based
Be solution-based so that people will come to you more often for help. When they do this, you gain more experience, opportunities, and gain the trust of your peers.
3. Be action-oriented
Don’t be a person who you would hate working with. Don’t be someone who throws out ideas or feedback without putting in the effort to help implement it. If you have ideas, then make sure you put in the work to help the team get it done.
What resources did you use to level up?
When I first started, I was fresh out of college and intimated by everyone at the company, seeing how experienced and intelligent they were. What helped me the most was growing my relationship with my direct manager at the time. I wasn’t afraid to let him know that I needed help doing something. I leaned into my manager and let him know that I was willing to learn and grow.
Everyone on your team is there to support you and to help the team and company grow. Don’t make enemies; make allies.
Do you have life tips that you’d like to share with us?
The thing I keep telling myself is that life is short and I can’t spend my life doing things that I hate doing or stressing out about it. I struggle a lot with managing my stress and it sometimes takes a physical toll on my body. When I got really sick one time, I had to remind myself that my health is worth more than the mental stress that I was putting on myself from being worried that I wasn’t performing well enough at work or from questioning my next steps.
It wasn’t worth putting that stress on myself. Life is short so just enjoy it!
Always put your own mental and physical health first.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help.
Aim to find a job with a company culture and coworkers that inspire you to be your best and most creative self.
You can find inspiration everywhere - from scrolling through TikTok late at night to content creators that you stumble across.
Take the initiative to start and lead new work projects you’re passionate about - trust the process and you might end up implementing a campaign or project that will be launched seasonally and be adapted by different teams.
Life is short so just enjoy it!
Follow Joyce! @joyceeeechun
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