Creator Business with Colleen Stauffer of Creative Juice (@getjuice)

Today we’re speaking with Colleen Stauffer of Creative Juice. Colleen is the head of marketing and communications for Creative Juice. In her role, she oversees brand strategy, product marketing including acquisition and retention to help Creators grow their businesses. Prior to Juice, Colleen was the Global Head of Creator Marketing at Pinterest where she oversaw campaign planning, strategy, and execution to tell stories that drive inspiration for creators. She has also served as Global Brand Director at Clorox, where she oversaw digital media for the suite of Clorox brands including Brita, Burt’s Bees, and Hidden Valley. Colleen, a Chicago native, got her start working in the Windy City for a number of advertising agencies including Cramer-Krasselt, Edelman, and Critical Mass. In her spare time, Colleen enjoys exploring the Bay Area with her husband and corgi, Buzz.



[00:00:00] Jessy: Hi everyone and welcome to the WIIM Podcast. Women in Influencer Marketing is a first of its kind exclusive networking group made up of inspirational women. This podcast is where we explore influencer marketing and get real about women in business. Find us wherever you download podcasts, and of course, you can always find us at iamwiim.com. That’s iamwiim.com. 

Hey guys, what is going on? Welcome back to this week’s episode of The Women In Influencer Marketing Podcast. If you are new here, big, warm, giant, welcome. I’m super excited to have you. And for those of you who tune in every single week, y’all are the best. You have my heart.

This week’s guest is incredible. I just got finished having our conversation with her. Her name’s Colleen Stauffer of Creative Juice, and I am so excited for you to hear from her. She’s such good energy, so I’m gonna keep this intro short. 

But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention not just one, but the two events that we have going on in March. So I wanna make sure that they are on your radar.

All you have to do is go to our website, iamwiim.com. That’s I A M W I I M.com /events. We’ll link it in the show notes below to see everything that we have coming up. But March is jam-packed. We have one mid-month, which is our hiring fair, our job fair, which is so good. It’s the way to we humanize a job board. The last ones we’ve done were hugely successful. So many people hired and we’re doing it again. So that’s the one event. 

And then the second event we have is another repeat event, our best in influencer tech event. So we have been producing this, I think this is our sixth time doing it and I’m just obsessed with influencer marketing, but also tech. And it’s cool to see that you guys enjoy it too.

So, we have some awesome, awesome companies that are gonna be demoing their products this month. Well, I guess this is airing in February, so next month in March. I look forward to you guys going, both events are completely free, but of course as members, you get some extra perks. So check at our website. Iamwiim.com/events and I really hope to see you guys at both of them. 

But today am so stoked to introduce you to Colleen Stauner of Creative Juice. So she’s the head of marketing and communications. In her role, she oversees brand strategy, product marketing, including acquisition and retention to help creators grow their businesses. You guys, that’s like the entire premise of their company. It’s so interesting.

So prior to Juice, Colleen was the global head of Creator Marketing at Pinterest. That’s where she oversaw campaign planning, strategy and execution to tell stories that drive inspiration for creators.

She’s also served as global brand director at Clorox, where she oversaw digital media for the suite of Clorox brands, including Brita, Burt’s Bees and Hidden Valley. They’re all part of the same umbrella of companies.

She is a Chicago native and she got her start working in the windy city for a number of ad agencies, including Cramer-Krasselt, Edelman, and Critical Mass. 

In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the bay area, which is where she’s based now with her husband and you guys, she is a corgi. A corgi, it’s so cute. Anyways guys, I really hope you enjoy this episode. It’s a really, really good one. So enjoy.

 So I am just so excited, to welcome you, Colleen. Today. I’ve been like excited about having this chat with you. So first and foremost, welcome and how’s it going? 

[00:04:31] Colleen: Thank you. I know it’s so good chat with you. I’ve been really excited about this too. So while we’re coast to coast, it’ll be fun to connect.

[00:04:39] Jessy: From the East coast to the west coast, cuz you’re based in San Francisco and we were chatting a little bit about that before, we started recording. But I think like your story is probably like a really awesome place to start. Professionally, you went from Edelman to Clorox to Pinterest, and now you’re at this awesome company, Creative Juice.

What was it about Creative Juice that made you take a chance on working at a startup after having been at some very established companies prior?

[00:05:16] Colleen: Yeah so, what you don’t see on like my LinkedIn on my resume is, obviously I’ve worked for some really big iconic brands. Clorox has been around for hundreds of years or hundred years, so they have such rich stories.

But the thing that I always found within these big companies was, who’s the brand or where’s the team that needed to be built or was just starting? At Clorox I worked on the Brita business. I also worked on the Burt’s Bees business, by the way, that’s like a dirty little secret. People don’t know that Clorox owns Burt’s Bees. They keep it that way because you don’t really wanna think about bleach when you think about your, lip balm. 

But I always found the team that was small or just starting out and that’s really been my mindset my whole career. It’s like, where can I find the small but mighty team and help them grow and help them build?

And so I’ve been at Clorox for a while. I think a CPG is one of the best ways to become a world class marketer because if you can, market a trash bag or market, a bottle of bleach, you can pretty much market anything. 

And then I went to Pinterest, and at Pinterest, we had always focused on bloggers. That’s exactly how the company started. But of course, as Instagram and other platforms came on the scene, the word influencer and creator really started to become a thing and people stopped creating their own website and just, wanted to build their audience on the platform.

And I’ve been at Pinterest for a year at that point. I went to my boss, the CMO, she’s still the CMO there now, and I said, we really need to start a creator team. So myself, the two co-founders of Pinterest and a product lead and a partnerships lead, we’ve pretty much just got in a room and we said, all right, let’s build this creator team from the ground up.

And we thought, okay, what’s the product we need to build? How are we gonna market it? Who’s the perfect creator audience for Pinterest at this time? And I built that team from, my boss of the time was like, I’ll give you one person. I’m like, fine. And when I left, I had 70 people globally. 

So I’ve always been this builder and while I’ve been surrounded by a bigger company with, had some, like a little bit of training wheels, right? You have the support and resources. When Sima, our CE and co-founder of Juice reached out, I thought, okay, this is the time. Like I rip off the training wheels. I don’t need to work for a big company anymore. I’ve been having this like entrepreneurial building spirit in my heart, my whole career. And now it’s time for me to truly build something from the ground up with limited resources. 

So took the leap a year ago. I left, Pinterest dream job. I’ve been a piner my, past 10, 11 years. And that was a moment where I was like, I’m definitely a little scared to do this. But I think that’s a good thing and I’ll talk about that later too with some of my advice. It’s run towards something you’re a little bit afraid of or gives you a little bit of anxiety because honestly it’s probably the thing to run to. So

[00:08:16] Jessy: I was gonna ask about that a little bit. You talk about that leap, right? And I’m sure so many people can resonate with that moment where they’re between two opportunities or there’s a moment where they can take the leap or not. Like I think it would be awesome to hear from you about that decision.

Like what it really felt like and just some of the like behind the scenes, like realities of it all, and feelings of when you got to the other side. 

[00:08:48] Colleen: Yeah, so it’s a great question and to set the scene a little bit, I was in. Chicago, which is my hometown. My husband and I both grew up there.

I was in there the month of December, 2021. We were there for the full month. We were like, okay, let’s just go for the month. See our family. It was the end of the pandemic and, everyone got covid. So I had been talking to Sima, our CEO and co-founder for a few months at this point, right?

Because this is a huge decision to, leave like a very stable job. A job that I had moved up in the ranks for, four years. I had helped take that company public. I had loved my team. They were like my babies. I handpicked every single one of them to come. 

My husband, he owns his own company. He had started his own company. So it was pretty insane to think, am I gonna quit my job? We were in lockdown in his mom’s condo in downtown Chicago. Me, him and his mom, and I woke up one morning, I said, I’m gonna quit my job today, and I’m gonna accept this job at Juice.

I’m gonna call, Sima after and say I’m doing it, let’s do it. But it was a lot of thought, a lot of conversations with, women. I have three sisters. They’re all pretty badass in their own right. They work all in very different industries than marketing and creators. But they really helped me say, why not?

There’s no better time than to do it now than ever because guess what? You can always go back or go somewhere bigger. If it doesn’t work out at this point in your career, you’re pretty marketable. I’ve learned a lot. We’ll talk about confidence later on because I can tell you I definitely have never had the confidence that I have now, just being a female in marketing, in tech. 

And so it definitely was a lot of debate, a lot of pros and cons, and ultimately, I’m like life is too short. I gotta do it. And guess what? If it doesn’t work out, I’ll find another job. I’ll figure it out. 

And if you have that attitude, then it just makes the decision feel. A little bit easier, even though there’s definitely that nervousness within there. And I’m very lucky. I have a very supportive husband who say that he’s like my number one and maybe only fan.

 He’s like you’re a badass, so you go do it. So I think just like having that support system, having great sisters, having amazing women that I’ve worked with through my entire career.

And that’s really the attitude I’ve always taken. Take the jump and don’t look back and if it doesn’t work, you will definitely figure it out. 

I did that when we moved to San Francisco eight years ago and I’m like, we can always move back to Chicago. That’s always an option. God forbid we have to move back with my parents or something. But I think, if you have that mindset, it’s a slightly easier to take a big leap.

[00:11:44] Jessy: So I love that you shared all of that. I just think it’s refreshing to hear the realities of what it is to make such a huge decision and everybody’s journey is so different, right? You talked about you’ve climbed the ladder and you’ve worked so hard to, get to the top of Pinterest and work at some of these incredibly successful, well-known companies.

But it seems as if there was still, you get to that point and then what? It’s like the plight of high achieving people. So I would love to just dive into Creative Juice a little bit more because I wanna know all of that really excited you about this. So tell me a little bit about Creative Juice and also like just how you guys are so unique.

[00:12:35] Colleen: Yeah, yeah. So Sima our CEO, and co-founder, which yes, she’s a, she like that is badass in its own right? She’s a CEO in tech in FinTech, which sadly that is unique. But hopefully we can all change the more women that become leaders, the better this world will be. We all believe that. 

So that in its own situation is unique. But, for people who don’t know, of course, Juice is, we’re a creator community. We provide funding, banking and business tools for creators.

So one of the big problems I uncovered when I was at Pinterest is that, creators haven’t really started to see themselves as the next generation of small businesses.

And so when Sima and I started talking, she said, hey, we’re building this thing. It’s gonna be hard because, by the way, nobody’s done this before. So it’s a category defining product, and I think as a marketer you’re a little bit of a glutton for punishment. You’re like, yes, I want that. I wanna build something from the ground up that’s never been built. And on top of that, there’s no proxy. 

There’s no thing that you’re like, oh, we’re this and this. I’m like, we’re like chase business banking plus SoFi plus, a little bit of community network plus QuickBook. There’s no like oh, we’re just like them. Which is awesome.

There was really three main things that drove me to Juice. Number one was, again, Sima as like a very experienced FinTech founder and Ezra, our other co-founder, he’s really experienced in the creator space.

So really that yin and yang of not only having FinTech experience, but having creator experience really gave me the confidence that, hey, these people know what they’re doing and they’re gonna be amazing leaders to learn from as well.

The other thing was, we’re solving a problem that nobody has solved before, which I love that I’m a problem solver. I’m a builder. And so being really able to give creators the mechanism to run a business and acknowledge that they are a business and there’s not always like the sexy side of running the business, right?

When it’s like oh, I gotta balance my checkbook or I gotta, get funding because my income’s a little bit clunky from brand deals, or my ad sense isn’t coming in the way it used to be or I have to do my taxes and I have no idea how to do them as a creator because by the way, the IRS doesn’t either. They don’t give you that guidance of how to be a creator and how to do your taxes.

So number two was like being able to solve this problem, a new problem and build a brand and build a team from the ground up was extremely exciting.

And then, another big reason was really who we’re focused on. So there are a lot tools out there again, like nobody’s doing, but all in one solution.

But a lot of them are really focused on that top 1% of creator. And if we’re really gonna grow this influencer creator economy, we need to focus on the up and comers, right? So whether you’re just starting to make, your first 5k, or still doing a side hustle and making a little bit of money. You’re still a business, right? 

You still need to like separate that income and figure out, how you’re really going to get time back in your life to do this passion, to do this side hustle. And so that was exciting for me too, is, not only focusing on up and coming creators, but also really focus on underrepresented communities.

That’s huge and core to our value. We’ve built a really diverse team and we’re also really focusing on ensuring at least 50% of our creators are from underrepresented groups. Again, like communities that haven’t always gotten the financial advice or financial attention.

And, we go to creator events and still some of them are full of men. And, Kimmy’s on my team. Sometimes we always cringe. We’re like, oh, we need more women. But we’re building it and going well and working. That was the perfect recipe for me to say, oh, yes, I’m taking this job and I’m gonna make Juice a success.

And not only make Juice a success, but really help creators and help them, become that next gen of small businesses. 

[00:16:47] Jessy: I appreciate the hell out of so much that you just said. A lot of people are constantly preaching about, like they wanna help creators and they wanna be there for creators and support creators and all that.

But I mean honestly, there’s like very few instances that I see where, to me it feels meaningful enough. So providing them funding, providing them educational resources, and beyond 10 bucks here and there from like an Instagram bonus or a YouTube bonus. It’s not really helping. Ugh, like I have so many opinions, but anyways, I think… 

[00:17:27] Colleen: Maybe off record… 

[00:17:31] Jessy: Oh yeah. We can give into them now. I think a lot of people who listen to our show regularly know my opinions, but basically I just overall think that, teaching women and so many creators are women, a huge majority are things like financial literacy and how to run their own businesses is a really incredibly powerful thing because, too often people don’t give enough credit to creators about their power and all that they’ve built, and it’s downplayed way, way, way too often.

But it sounds like what you guys are doing, is not only just like uplifting them. It’s so far beyond that, it’s really empowering them and giving them like the juice. 

[00:18:21] Colleen: Yeah, the juice. Exactly. See the brand name.

[00:18:26] Jessy: Exactly like the Juice to be able to run their businesses like a boss. So I freaking love that.

I would love to talk also about just like specific stories. I always like getting as specific as possible. So some people hopefully they’ll check out your site and maybe they’ve heard about you guys, I’m sure a lot of them have about, what you do. But I wanna hear some success stories, like interesting stories where you’ve actually helped by funding a creator, like what that’s helped unlock or achieve. Can you tell us some stories about success that you’ve had?

[00:19:07] Colleen: I would love to, and honestly, this is probably like one of your favorite parts of your job too. It’s, why we’re all in this influencer creator economy. It’s like these people are so passionate, like you just get so much energy from them and all have so many unique stories.

There’s, one of our creators growwithjo, she’s a fitness YouTuber. When she started with us, she had definitely less than a million subscribers on YouTube. Because of our funding, she now has more than 4 million, and I’ll tell you why that is. 

So she, took our funding. We were like, okay, what are you gonna use it for? She was like, I need to separate my work and my life. I need a studio. I can go rent, so I can live my life, be with my family, and just be like a great mom and partner.

But then go to a studio and be this amazing, fitness creator that’s inspiring new moms, women post pandemic, anyone to just get off their couch, do these 15, 20, hour plus workouts and so that excited me so much cause it’s like giving her this ability to have that separation in her life and grow her business.

And now it’s, booming and she’s gonna start doing some like cool events like in real life workouts. She’s obviously grown her subscriber base, she’s now able to charge more money to brands. She also can live her life in her home. And also see it as unfortunately the way most of us do, which is also a place of work.

So she’s a really cool example and obviously everyone should subscribe to her. And then the other one I wanna mention is, something that we should all be talking about more is women, but Hannah williams, I think her handle’s @salarytransparentstreet .

She goes around the country and interviews people. She interviews men and women. But I think the women she interviews are most interesting because you see the hesitation. She talks about salaries and she talks about what’s your job, what’s your salary, what’s the equity? Do you get insurance? And really trying to make it not such, faux paw out there.

That category didn’t exist. And she was starting to create her business and get a pretty big following and make money. And then she’d go into a traditional bank and they be like, what? You talk on the internet about money? I don’t get it. And so we were like, come, we’ll help you, we’ll give you these tools.

You can go travel around the country, continue to talk about, money being such a taboo topic, but getting people to really start to share, income negotiation, et cetera. 

So those are just like two pretty cool examples of women doing their thing, being able to, grow their businesses because of us.

[00:21:49] Jessy: That’s so cool. Like just a couple. No, those are freaking awesome. Those are really cool examples. And like I just couldn’t imagine from their perspective like being like, someone believes in my mission so much that they’re gonna invest in me and help me grow this thing. So I could also just think from their perspective, like how that opened up so many doors for them. I think that’s incredible.

I also think it’s interesting. We’re talking about like we’re a very female dominated industry and there’s something really special about that. It’s very rare that you see that in other industries. 

[00:22:26] Colleen: Yeah.

[00:22:27] Jessy: And I think that marketing yourself as a female brand, can be like a really complex thing and something that certainly takes a lot of, thought.

So what are some innovative ways to market yourself as a female brand, whether you are like a traditional influencer, like the ones you just mentioned, or an entrepreneur, maybe like you’re CEO or yourself and what What are some things that, women listening should keep in mind.

[00:22:57] Colleen: Yeah. One, first and foremost, I say always have a point of view, right? Be yourself. And I know that sounds like cliche, but I think that’s why this, like entrepreneurial, the creator economy, everything going on right now is so hot and so interesting. It’s because there’s space for everyone, right?

Like me and you could both be, food creators, but we probably have a different take on it. And we’d both be able to grow an amazing audience and we’d also be able to talk to each other about like swapping secrets, et cetera. So I’d say no matter, you know what industry you’re in, you’re like, have that point of view and really don’t give that up. And don’t be afraid to be yourself. 

it’s hard to not see someone out there and see a trend and say, Ooh, I wanna be like that. It’s like no no no. Do your thing. It’s way more powerful and people will love that.

I also always say always upsell yourself, right? So as a creator, if you’re working with a brand or if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re going to pitch and get money from a VC, vc really think about that value that you provide. And by the way Juice is definitely guilty of this because we’re a startup, so I will give us a pass.

But You know a lot of brands will say like oh hey, we just wanna do a test with you. We wanna do a few posts, et cetera. And that’s fine obviously in some cases. But I think see that as that opportunity to help upsell yourself and really, think about, oh, hey, I can provide way more value if we do more content, because you own that data, you own that insight, X, Y, Z, you can help that way.

The other big thing I always say, which is definitely a marketer’s dream, is as a creator influencer, if it’s a product or a brand that you use every day, do not be afraid to DM them. them This works through and through. I promise you, if you’re like, oh, I love Skims, or I love Whole Foods, or any brand, really DM them because what brand doesn’t want someone reaching out to them and saying, I literally use your product every day, I can show you a different use case for how to do it that you probably haven’t thought of, and it’s probably gonna sell because I have a super engaged audience. 

So I’d say don’t be afraid to do that and pitch those ideas. I think that’s another huge thing is give the brand ideas, tell ’em how you would do it.

You’re so like insular as a marketer sometimes. And that’s a big thing I tell my team, I’m like, get out in the world, see what the competitors are doing.

Yeah we’re not even close to Gucci. We’re in a totally different realm, but look at their creative. Their creative’s amazing. What if Juice took a page out of Gucci’s playbook and they’re creative? 

So I’m always thinking about, okay, how can you really think about that brand, connect those dots and sell yourself in like a unique way and give an idea to a brand that, they definitely have not thought about. So I’m excited for people to DM me now and I wanna hear all their ideas. 

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[00:26:54] Jessy: No, I love that so much. Yeah, I think there’s something really powerful in just staying in your own lane, like finding where you are like nobody else, and then just owning that so much. I love that so much. I think that’s great, great advice. 

So female creators outnumber men by two to one. I looked up that stat and while women dominate deal flow in past years. I saw a stat that men are still earning 30% more on average, which was really surprising to me for a variety of reasons. Why do you think that is? But most importantly, like how do we get that right?

[00:27:41] Colleen: Yeah, I know it. It is like a little bit depressing when you see those stats. You’re like, how are we still there? I talked about that example, Hannah’s salary transparency, You know money is still such a taboo topic.

You know I encourage everyone, even if you find like one female in your life and doesn’t even matter what industry they’re in, what age they are, find that person that you can talk money with and you really trust and you both can share secrets cause I think that’s the only way we’re gonna be able to get better and better at this.

And really again, upsell ourselves, show our full value show brands that, yeah, I have a small audience, but they’re way more engaged than a, big audience sometimes, right? So I think that’s a big thing, right? Money’s taboo.

I also think, by the way, I’m guilty of this women second guess theirselves, right? So when you’re in that moment of negotiation and someone’s telling you, oh no, this is what you’re worth, sometimes you’re like, wait, am I? And by the way, a man would never do that.

So as much as you can, like even if you have to write a post-it on your laptop or a note in your phone or whatever, just say where would I be and what would I be doing without this thought? Do not second guess yourself because by the way men negotiate all day long and you should too.

And And then I think a lot of it too is that relationship building, right? Which is like can be a double-edged sword. So relationships are so important in work, but sometimes, let’s say you’re working with a brand and you’ve been working with them for a year and you’re like, oh, but I love the people at the brand but I think at some point you’ve gotta know when to walk away.

You’ve gotta say, okay, they’re not paying me anymore, what I deserve. They’re not willing to negotiate. So like it’s just not worth your time and your money and by the way, there’s probably another brand that would want you or another company that would want you, et cetera. 

So It’s really about knowing your value, being able to, be confident and manage, that time that worth. And also just really think about, your consistency and your rates and negotiation. 

[00:29:47] Jessy: That’s fantastic advice. I think that a lot of creators and managers to they’re like, I wanna find my worth. I wanna know my value, but like, how do I actually do that? Especially creators starting out where they just don’t have many examples of other brand partner. Because I have a slightly controversial opinion that I just think people are worth what others will pay. 

Especially like in when you’re quantifying art, which is a lot of this is an artistry and you’re trying to say what is that worth? It’s really what other people will pay. So you just need a lot of data to be able to come to an average or a range of some sort. And then of course there’s a lot of other variables like usage or exclusivity and things like that in order to determine what you wanna charge. But I think broadly your point is like really spot on.

Which is just generally not second guessing yourself, not low balling yourself or making excuses for why you shouldn’t get paid more. 

I think it’s really interesting how you were talking earlier about your own career path and your own trajectory and, you get title increase or financial increase, but creators don’t have that.

So it’s interesting to think about how do they progress in their own career? How do they continue to grow professionally? And increasing rates is only one of those ways. I think like diversifying revenue streams, obviously growing your audience so that, that alone opens up so many other doors.

But, I don’t know, it’s just interesting to think about and I’ve never really thought about it before, which is just like, how do they progress in their own careers? 

[00:31:43] Colleen: Yeah. It is like a little bit art, a little bit science, right? So you obviously wanna look at, your followers, your engagement, all that good stuff. But then there is a little bit gut to it of the art where you’re, like you said, like number one, you’re an artist. This content you’re putting on the world is you. It’s ip, right? It’s pretty valuable. 

And I think if you’re just starting out sometimes, and I know this kind of sounds crazy, but think of a number in your head and be a little bit of, does that feel right to me?

Or do I still have a pit in my stomach if I’m like low balling myself? And so sometimes that is a good way to start. You’re like, okay, gotta look at the science, look at the data, and then what just feels right to you?

And that’s where you start. And then by the way, don’t ever lower that bar. So as you increase and more data on one side, then continue to think about what feels right to you from increasing your rates too on a different side. And by the way, you could totally structure your entire, content journey and career and make your own milestones.

I think that would be interesting. Maybe we could create that together where we’re like, okay, this is like the career path of a creator, and it’s a little bit of a question discussion guide of how you determine when you’re moving up per se. 

[00:33:05] Jessy: Wait. I love that so much. I think it, it applies to creators, it applies to professional or influencer marketers. It applies to everybody where, you have your own professional journey. And I think that, oh gosh, I can go on about this forever, but I feel like that’s something that’s perhaps missing from a lot of academia. Like we get degrees and It’s very rare. 

Even let’s say you get a marketing degree, they just tell you like a handful of possible roles that you could fill, but who knew that you could study marketing and do like hundreds of different jobs. There’s so many different paths and that’s just one degree. 

So I think that’s so fascinating to think from a creator’s perspective, all the different possibilities for them, and maybe a insightful, like all right, do you enjoy this? Do you not enjoy that? Like, where do you see yourself? I dunno. Just… 

[00:34:03] Colleen: Yeah, your own adventure.

[00:34:05] Jessy: I love that. That’s, so interesting. What a cool idea. We’re gonna talk about that after . 

[00:34:10] Colleen: Yes. Yes.

[00:34:10] Jessy: So speaking more about, just like creator businesses, I always like to get as real on this show as humanly possible. We’ll talk about all the successes and, things that we’re doing right, but I also think that it’s important to talk about areas that aren’t working so that we can improve them and fix them and just do better. 

What aspects of creator businesses do you think are being the most neglected? Like where are the most opportunities for creators?

[00:34:49] Colleen: Yeah. It’s interesting, of course this is like a savvy podcast. You’re, a boss in your own right? So even the word creator businesses I’m not even sure that’s like widely known yet when you put creator and business together, right? 

So obviously that’s like a big problem we’re solving at Juice is, we talk to creators every day and they say, oh yeah, I have 10, 20 tabs open of managing my business or managing my income, and by the way, I dunno what I’m doing, or I put my money in like PayPal or it’s still in a personal checking account. And again, it’s not the sexy side of business, right? It’s not like you’re like winning an award or you’re getting, all this praise and feedback from your community. But it is what’s gonna help you grow and succeed and if you have a side hustle, turning it into that full-time thing. 

So it’s the tools, right? Those are neglected . There’s not education out there on how to run a business as a creator. And, you could definitely Google, small business basics and say, oh yeah, I’m a small business. 

But again it’s just in a slightly different format than it is for this profession, for this creator economy. And so obviously that’s why we started Juice, right? 

We really found this opportunity of like okay, creators have inconsistent income. Brands are paying creators 90 days late, they’re chasing brand payments. That’s super annoying.

I will candidly say I’ve been on, an old company brand side where we definitely didn’t pay a creator on time because, it’s just AP departments are slow and old, et cetera. And ultimately, like that falls on that creator.

I’ve talked to a creator the day, said, I created this content six months ago and I got paid I almost didn’t care anymore because once I hit publish on that content for that brand, I wanted to get paid immediately. It’s like that dopamine hit and so that payment structure’s neglected. Them running their business with the right tools is neglected and the education out there being neglected.

So hopefully we can all solve this together. I think that’s like this exciting moment. It is a little bit all of ours to lose in helping this new creator economy. 

You see Amex had their big, and they still do right? Small business Saturday. I’m like, can we like all as an industry? Or even like Jews could do creator business every day, right?

Like you could literally go online and shop from all these amazing creators. And so the more that we acknowledge the business side of it, the better, everyone else will be. And they can have more time in their hands too.

[00:37:35] Jessy: I want a list of like creator businesses that I can shop from.

[00:37:40] Colleen: Oh my gosh, yes. There’s so many. I gotta send them to you too. 

[00:37:46] Jessy: I love small business Saturday. I am way more enthused to do that than, what is the day before it’s Black Friday, right? I’m very pro small business, so I love the idea of that.

But, even just knowing about them and yeah. Oh gosh. I don’t know. I just, wanna give creators so much credit because there are so many ways that they could, drive business and so many different opportunities. 

And it’s just like a lot of its experimentation to see what works because of the lack of resources and education that you said. So in terms of, your journey though, I think a lot of women watching this episode would really admire the path that you taken. 

Looking at you on paper so impressive and it’s just been really lovely, like getting to know you a bit. And I have a feeling that a lot of women in our organization will also love to get in touch with you,

 but before I ask for how they can do that, what’s some of the best career advice that you’ve been given that you would love to pass along to our audience of influencer marketers?

[00:38:54] Colleen: Absolutely. So one we talked about earlier, run towards something that, scares you or challenges you a little bit. Early on Early on in my career, I remember, you read, you’d be like, okay, I’m gonna look for a job, read the job description, be like two to three years, and then it’d be like 10, bullets of qualifications and I’d say, oh I don’t check all of them so I can’t apply for this job. 

Again, a man would never do that. If you check like two of ’em. By the way, if you know some of it, you can learn all of it. Like women are so resourceful. I never had worked in FinTech before and now I can tell you, what you should look out when you do lending, how to do your taxes, how to manage invoices, inflow out full of cash.

I would say run towards something that challenges you and scares you a little bit. Because if you have that learning growth mindset and you’re a woman, you’re gonna shine because we’re all very resourceful and you’ll figure it out, I promise.

Another big thing is, and I don’t know if anyone ever told me this, but it was something that I’ve started to tell people. I really learned how to lead and manage from my worst managers.

Now, You know I became who I am today because of terrible managers and leaders. I know that sounds crazy, of course I’ve had great mentor, amazing bosses along the way, but I was able to actually like fine tune my skills as a manager and leader because of the bad ones I’ve had.

had My philosophy is I you know I have really high standards, but I always let my team just fly and do their thing, right? Like I hired you so I immediately trust you. You don’t have to earn my trust. I’ve seen that a lot from managers, they’re like you have to earn my trust. I’m like, no, I hired you of course I trust you. It’s yours to lose. 

And so really being able to build that culture on your team of trust of empathy, of communication. Cuz I think like the negativity sticks out in your head more when you think about who have my manager’s been along the way. And then I immediately think about the bad ones that I’ve had.

And so I think, okay, I’m not gonna be a micromanager. I’m always gonna come from a good place like, good intent versus saying, oh, I don’t trust them. Why wouldn’t I trust them? I hired them. Of course, they trust them. So that’s the other one. 

And then I think the third one is, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Like I’m always willing to lend like at least 15 minutes to anyone I meet. I met this girl, this event in Miami a few months ago. She was an engineer. She wants to re career to marketing. She’s can I reach out to you? We talk to, of course, like we chatted for 20 minutes. I gave her some advice and, I’m sure we’ll keep in touch, but I think don’t be afraid to ask for help.

But of course within that, make sure you’re your ask is clear and you’re really precious with people’s time. But, I think that was a big thing I learned too. It’s like don’t suffer in silence. 

There’s so many people that don’t know what they don’t know. And the more that you admit and show that vulnerability, the better it is.

Sima, our CEO, we talk about this all the time. She’s Iike don’t know anything about marketing. I was like, I didn’t know anything about how to run a FinTech company. And so we’re amazing partners in that way. And letting your guard down and being vulnerable and asking for help.

[00:42:07] Jessy: Totally. Vulnerability, man. I don’t know. The world would be a different place if everybody could find themselves in more and more vulnerable, positions. Like just being vulnerable, being comfortable enough. Like obviously it take, you’re talking about trust, like it takes a lot of trust to feel that.

But also, I’ve had the experience where if you can just be the brave one to, being vulnerable and say ooh, I don’t really actually know how to do this. Or I wanna do this so much better. And I just, I don’t think I’m hitting the mark. Can you help me?

 Takes everybody else’s defenses down as well. And it’s just like a snowball effect and really cultivates like an even a really powerful work environment.

And also, my God, can I relate to, how to be a good manager just do the opposite. 

[00:42:57] Colleen: Exactly.

[00:42:58] Jessy: Many previous managers did, and I know I’ve spoken with so many WIIM members about that. Even I chatting with somebody just like a few weeks ago, and she was like, I’m almost like waiting for the shoe to drop where I am because like they’re wonderful. They’re incredible, but like I am so like traumatized a little bit from like these awful people that I’ve worked with that it’s almost too good to be true.

So I think yes…

[00:43:27] Colleen: Oh my gosh.

[00:43:27] Jessy: Real talk like there are unfortunately alot of people who should not be in management positions. Like I’m sure, like perhaps they’re talented in their own right. Perhaps they can do all sorts of things and maybe in marketing or whatever the case may be, but they just shouldn’t be managing people.

[00:43:46] Colleen: So true. That’s such a good point though, what you said. It’s there’s a lot of people came from just like terrible situations. And I’m always like, you gotta shake off those cobwebs. You’re right. It’s sadly sometimes rare to be like, is this place too good to be true?

And it’s like no, no it is. Is this great? And you just sadly didn’t have a good situation. I’ve been there. Too much. 

[00:44:11] Jessy: Totally. Oh God, I feel you on that. So I have a feeling that our audience is gonna be really interested in just reaching out. You better guys. You better reach out to Colleen. Yeah, she’s incredible.

What is the best way for our audience to reach out, and, get in touch? What can we link in shownotes. 

[00:44:32] Colleen: Yes. Slip into my dms on LinkedIn, obviously under Colleen staffer. But don’t just connect with me. I either want you to, one, give me like a great idea for Juice or two ask me a question.

So I won’t accept you unless you do one of those things. And then, we’re a small and mighty team, so I really hope that you follow us all on Get Juice because hopefully we’ll give you either like a great piece of advice to run your business or, if you’re amazing creator, influencer out there, we can definitely feature you work together. That would be amazing. 

We’re always looking for ambassadors to work with, especially creator educator and, FinTech creators. So that’s where we’re starting now. 

So find me on LinkedIn, follow us on at Get Juice. And you can follow me on Instagram too. You’ll see my really cute corgi that thank God hasn’t barked this entire chat.

[00:45:27] Jessy: I just wanna see your corgi. So you’re saying thank God I’m sitting here being like, Nope. Corgi makes an appearance. Cause who doesn’t love a little Corgi? 

[00:45:37] Colleen: I know. I should change my background. Swap out my wedding pic and put my corgi in there for my next spot.

[00:45:43] Jessy: Don’t tell your husband. Yeah, don’t tell your husband. It’ll be the three of you guys, maybe. It’s been such a pleasure having you on. Thank you so much and I just look forward to see you more around Wiim. So thank you Colleen. 

[00:45:59] Colleen: Thank you. 

[00:46:00] Jessy: Thank you. 

[00:46:00] Colleen: And next time I’m in New York, I will find you and we’ll meet in real life.

[00:46:03] Jessy: If you enjoyed this episode, we gotta have you back. Check out our website for more ways to get involved, including all the information you need about joining our collective. You can check out all the information at iamwiim.com. Leave us a review, a rating, but the most important thing that we can ask you to do is to share this podcast.

Thanks for listening. Tune in next week.

Colleen Stauffer

Head of Marketing & Communications, CREATIVE JUICE

Colleen is the head of marketing and communications for Creative Juice. In her role, she oversees brand strategy, product marketing including acquisition and retention to help Creators grow their businesses. Prior to Juice, Colleen was the Global Head of Creator Marketing at Pinterest where she oversaw campaign planning, strategy and execution to tell stories that drive inspiration for creators. She has also served as Global Brand Director at Clorox, where she oversaw digital media for the suite of Clorox brands including Brita, Burt’s Bees and Hidden Valley. Colleen, a Chicago native, got her start working in the Windy City for a number of advertising agencies including Cramer-Krasselt, Edelman and Critical Mass. In her spare time, Colleen enjoys exploring the Bay Area with her husband and corgi, Buzz.

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