Ben Pawson is the man behind your favourite TikTok stars. Here, he speaks achieving virality, navigating the industry and how to build a successful business.

Fighting his way to the top with the hottest agency of global influencers, Ben Pawson is the mastermind behind some of your favourite content creators. Created in lockdown, when he was made redundant from his events job, Cadence Talent has been on an unstoppable rise. In the past few years, Ben’s company has grown to manage 45 TikTokers in three continents with a reach of over 150 million people.  


Cadence Talent’s commitment to diversity sets it apart from many other agencies currently in the game. The common thread between everyone on its roster, however, is a knack for navigating the social media sphere – and this is helped in part by Ben and Cadence’s forward-thinking consultancy.  


The global company has scored collaborations with an illustrious list of brands. Prestigious fashion labels like Miu Miu, Dior and Prada have all worked with Cadence Talent, as have entertainment names like Disney, Fortnite and Paramount. 


To celebrate several successful years in the game, we spoke with Ben about achieving virality, navigating the industry and how to build a successful business.  

What does success mean to you? How would you define it?

My definition of success within the agency world is transforming creators into global stars and watching their pages grow. While financial success is easy to measure, I find supporting diverse groups more meaningful.

Lockdown sounded like a very productive time for you. But when did you first realise that a TikTok management agency business could become a reality?

I consulted for a song promotion agency and realised how undervalued TikTok creators were, so I saw a big gap in the market. They were also very approachable and accessible via DM or email so it felt obtainable to bring the first few onboard.

What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced on your journey with Cadence Talent? How did you overcome them? 

People not seeing the value of influencers, especially luxury brands and old-fashioned PR agencies. Cadence overcame this challenge by not taking no for an answer and finding any means possible to get our talent into high-profile events or persuade the brand teams to work with our talent.


If an agency said no, we would approach the brand directly, the DJ playing the event or the event’s production agency to add our roster to the guest list. Their presence at these high-profile events increased the creator’s brand credibility for future paid work.

What’s Cadence’s mantra? Do you have a particular ethos that you look to instil in those that you work with?

Hard-working, attention to detail and punctuality with campaign deadlines. Keeping our brand clients happy is fundamental to the Creator’s progression and Cadence talent.

For musicians and artists looking to break TikTok and achieve virality, what would be your advice to them?

I know that TikTok is a temperamental beast and there is not one formula that works. However, if the sound is not TikTok friendly it will not work on the app. My advice is to be as active as possible, growing the artist’s own page – that is the best free method for promoting a sound. The best sound promo campaigns are the ones that are already trending organically and then it’s a process of fuelling the fire.


Important to build your network within the Tik Tok creator space, befriending Tik Tok stars that have huge followings and are willing to collaborate with you/ cover your songs. The likes of Mimi Webb and Cat Burns do this very well.

What excites you about the intersection between TikTok and the music industry for the future? How do you think it will be used positively to help artists achieve their goals?

TikTok allows artists to market their music in an exponential way, reaching a global audience very quickly. It is also very cost-effective and allows musicians to break into the scene very quickly, bypassing a lot of hurdles. Musicians are increasingly going independent as a result, rather than being tied down to complicated label contracts. TikTok has recently launched a new song–distribution and artist-services platform called SoundOn which helps to serve creators and emerging artists in their music careers.

Do you have any long-term plans for the company? Or any areas you’d like to expand Cadence into?

Expanding the team internally to consolidate opportunities within our current roster while also growing the roster.

What are you manifesting for the rest of 2023?

I’m manifesting more face-to-face creator interaction time and clean living. Also increasing brand deal flow within the luxury space.

To wrap up, have you got any exciting summer plans?

I’m heading to Vidcon in June for the largest creator conference in the world and then Copenhagen for fashion week in August

Any holidays or festivals booked to wind down from a busy year so far?

I’m going to be detoxing in the English countryside, playing lots of tennis, which is my form of meditation, and having a break from my phone and laptop.