With his headphones in and deep focus in his gaze, Neil Adams peers at the video editing software on his computer. He turns to a notebook on his desk and jots down some ideas for relatable trends he can incorporate into his most recent client ad. Flipping a few pages back, he also passes by a list of content idea for his own social media pages.
Neil Adams is a Television, Radio, and Film major in Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications and the founder of Candid Content Creation, a social media management company with an emphasis on entertainment before sales.
Neil understands that it’s important for ads to mirror the content people already watch on platforms like Instagram and TikTok to make the videos engaging enough for viewers to finish watching. When creating content that is entertaining first—and selling someone something is the afterthought, rather than the priority—the sales come more naturally.
Neil noted, “The world of entertainment is changing at an exponential rate. Companies need help advertising to this changing world of entertainment.”
Growing up on the internet, Neil noticed there was a whole world of possibilities to forge his own path in life. Neil’s dad was also a video producer with his own company, so being taught to record and edit videos at a young age was influential for Neil to view video editing as a promising opportunity. Neil has always sought to learn the skills that aren’t taught in school, often turning to mentors such as his dad or free resources on the internet to teach him innovative video editing skills, interaction strategies to grow social media pages, and the mindset of hard work and delayed gratification.
“You might not see results for a long time,” Neil said. What matters is persistence in building skills and making decisions that will ultimately grow the business. “Put in the hours and work at the beginning when you’re not getting recognition because those are the things that will help you succeed in the future.”
As Neil developed his business acumen, he learned how to convert one-time projects into consistent, long-term clients. Since starting, Neil has worked with clients ranging from a local yacht chartering company to big names such as Dot Cards, DoorDash, and Dell. He explains that to foster strong client relationships, it is important to show respect and make people feel valuable and appreciated.
Neil explained that above all, results matter most. “People will keep coming back to you if you’re successful.”
Nevertheless, Neil has also learned the value of saying no to projects to preserve his time for the initiatives that matter most and to focus his attention on future business growth.
Another lesson Neil has learned is how to partner with other creators.
“By the first deadline of working with someone, you can usually tell whether they will be able to successfully complete everything they need to,” Neil said, encouraging other entrepreneurs to trust their intuition when it comes to working with people.
While his business focus is on content creation for clients, Neil also films content for his own social media on YouTube and TikTok. Much of his content is about college lifestyle, travel, and making money online.
When asked what it means to be an innovator, Neil said, “It’s to start something based on your own ideas and ambitions, rather than what the people around you are telling you to do.”
In the coming years, Neil is planning to hire more people and work with new clients. He especially hopes to immerse himself more in creative videography.
Neil’s portfolio can be found on @candidcontentcreation on Instagram.
Story by Sasha Temerte ’23, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo supplied