Her Music Club: Meet Jamie Crawford, CEO of digital agency CameraSeat
Raised in Berlin, Germany, Jamie Crawford-Walker moved to the US in 2012 to further pursue a career in the music industry. After numerous internships at BET, Roc Nation, and Republic Records, Crawford-Walker nailed her first gig at Epic Records in 2016 filling the role as Content Creator. With this title she was responsible for handling the digital strategy for Epic’s artists such as DJ Khaled, French Montana, Future, Meghan Trainor, Rick Ross, Travis Scott, Yo Gotti, and more.
After 3 Years at Epic, Crawford-Walker decided to launch her own digital agency under the name of CameraSeat , focusing on social content creation and strategy. Her company provides a full service approach to digital content through the shooting, editing, and delivery of polished content pieces that create a complete narrative around any given artist or release.
We sat down with Jamie to talk about how she pursued a career in the digital space, the go to investment for first time content creators, her fave piece of equipment, and her advice on social media growth.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
How did you get started in the digital space?
My first internship in digital marketing was at Republic Records in 2015. I was interning for the marketing department but was able to help out on some of the digital tasks as well. During the following school semester, I focused on finding Digital Marketing opportunities on campus, which helped me gain more experience.
Can you remember what your first piece of content was that made you realize you had the talent + this was the field you wanted to pursue?
When I was 8 years old I made my first movie showing off our house, edited to Smash Mouth’s 'All Star'. Since then I knew I wanted to create content. I started off with the goal of becoming a movie director, but I am more than grateful about the direction life took me!
How has being raised in Germany influenced your work?
Being raised in Germany influences my every day work. The way I work is very detail and “to-do” list oriented, which both are typical German traits. I also like to think that I give a different perspective to my clients because I approach most projects from a more global approach.
For someone who is just getting started as a content creator, what gear should they invest in first?
A good phone. A lot of the great content created right now is executed via our phones! Now its just about getting creative and really familiarizing yourself with the camera and all its hidden gems.
What’s your favorite piece of equipment currently?
My DJI Osmo pocket. It’s a small pocket sized camera that plugs into your phone and records incredible steady 4K content. It also has an incredible slow motion function.
Most of the content I create has an extremely quick turn around time, so having small devices that connect directly to your phone makes life much easier.
How do you navigate content creation for the different social media platforms? How has your experience been with TikTok, Reels, etc.?
I usually have a checklist of different types of content to create for each platform. The goal for us with every campaign is to differentiate the content and the strategy for each platform. For example: for Twitter we will include more gifs and more post frequency. For Instagram we might focus heavily on utilizing new tools such as Reels.
Different platforms have different audiences and the goal is it to always differentiate the content we put out based on that.
Talk to us about the origin of CameraSeat. Was there a point in your career when you realized you could do this on your own? What makes CS unique?
Starting a company in general has always been a dream mine. The name CameraSeat actually came to me while I was an intern in 2015. I started the company at the beginning of 2019 because it was the perfect point in my career to just take a risk. I knew that I loved what I did and from working in the space previously, I knew what was missing in the market.
What makes CameraSeat unique is that we take a very hands-on approach and focus heavily on content creation. The goal is to become part of the clients team and be a key player in the growth of their career.
What are your thoughts on the longevity of live streaming?
I think live streaming is here to stay. If nothing, Verzuz has proved just that! With the right content and idea, an audience will come to you.
What advice would you give a musician starting out on how to grow their audience on social media?
My number one rule is to be as authentic as possible and don’t follow typical “posting rules”. But I do encourage posting multiple times a week, if not daily, to get picked up by the algorithm and reach a wider audience.
Verifications of course help, but until that point engaging with your fans in your comments, following trends, and utilizing the different tools each app has to offer will help you build your following and engagement in an organic way.
2020 is a rough one, to say the least...We’re not only dealing with Covid, but we’re also seeing the BLM movement on a national stage. The isolation that comes with Covid, alongside this political moment, can be an obvious detriment to our mental health. How are you doing?
Of course, like the rest of us, we are adjusting to a new norm. I try to focus on appreciating the small things and blessings especially during these difficult times.
And when I’m having a really rough day, I always turn to a puzzle to distract me!
Which Black voices & creators have been inspiring to you?
I love seeing my peers succeed, especially the ones I started in the industry with. Seeing more black female photographers, executives, producers, entrepreneurs etc. really is an inspiration for me to keep pushing!
There’s honestly so many to name, and more to add every day! One of my favorites is Brandon Almengo. He's a great friend and is incredibly talented. Excited to see where his journey will take him!
What do you want to be remembered for?
Being hard-working and humble.