Tech

The top 19 TikTok talent managers and agents helping creators turn social-media fame into diversified businesses

  • Insider is recognizing the top talent managers and agents for TikTok stars in 2021. 
  • These power players help shape the careers of creators like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae Easterling.
  • They have expanded their clients’ businesses through brand deals, streaming TV, and DTC products.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Charli D’Amelio, 16, is the biggest star on TikTok with 113 million followers.

And while D’Amelio and her family are well known to their fans, there’s a whole team of industry professionals behind the scenes working to help boost her career. Her team has established relationships with major players in the industry to help grow her brand, from working with Dunkin’ to name a drink after her to developing a reality TV show on Hulu.

Charli and her 19-year-old sister Dixie, who has 51 million TikTok followers, have been featured in stores at Hollister and Morphe for their long-term collaborations. And every few months, the sisters seem to become the face of something new. Their latest deal includes creating a special-edition mattress with bedding company Simmons. 

Like many top stars, Charli has both talent managers and agents working with her. In cases like Charli’s, a manager will often help with the day-to-day work of crafting the creator’s brand. The agent will work on bringing in deals and on broader business strategy, offering access to top brands, celebrities, and helping the creator enter into the world of traditional entertainment (like movies, music, and television). There’s also some overlap between the roles.

Managers and agents earn revenue by receiving a cut of the influencer’s earnings, which typically ranges from 10 to 20%, according to industry insiders.

The D’Amelio family is managed by Barbara Jones, who is the founder of the management firm Outshine Talent, and are represented by Ali Berman, who is the head of digital talent at United Talent Agency.

“Our goal is for our creators to be creators and focus on what they do best, and we can handle the vetting, the legal, and the negotiating along with an agent,” Jones told Insider. “Part of what we do is vetting inbound requests and also working on outreach to their wishlist of the brands they want to work with.”

To help take the family’s business to the next level, the D’Amelios have even built their own in-house team called D’Amelio Family Enterprises. They hired former UTA agent Greg Goodfried in 2020 to lead the business, which includes podcasting, YouTube, books, and a reality show.

The D’Amelios are an example of how top TikTok stars are expanding their careers with the help of managers and agents.

And there are other ways managers and agents have pushed the TikTok ecosystem forward.

The rise of TikTok has brought a new era for “collab” houses, or mansions where creators live together, collaborate on videos, and pitch themselves to brands as a bundle. Managers are key to many of these endeavors.

Some houses, like The Crib Around the Corner, are run by talent-management firms. TCATC features a cast of Black creators who are backed by the influencer agency Whalar and talent-management company Thirteenth. In addition to managing the group, Whalar and Thirteenth negotiate sponsorship deals for TCATC’s stars.

But which other managers and agents have helped shape the world of TikTok creators?

In our second annual power list, Insider is recognizing some of the top managers and agents who are guiding the careers of TikTok stars in 2021. In this list, we highlight the power players assisting TikTok creators with their digital brands and businesses across content categories.

To form this list, Insider relied on a mix of our own reporting, nominations from readers, and industry experts to narrow down the finalists. We chose them based on their experience managing creators, their responsibilities, and their influence on the industry.

The 19 management companies and agencies are listed in alphabetical order:

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