When Reuven Ashtar first decided to become a lawyer, he wanted to use his knowledge and expertise to help people. He spent years getting multiple law degrees specializing in intellectual property, knowing he would be able to help people understand their rights and become successful. His clients’ successes were his successes, and that is what drove him. However, he often found himself in adversarial situations, picking fights to help win his cases, and he wanted to find a way to help people in a way he found more uplifting. When he took on an engagement representing a content creator, he realized exactly how he could get the best of both worlds, and decided to become a talent manager.
“Being a manager/producer usually involves people on different sides coming together and building things up, bringing projects and ideas to life, which is way more exciting and fulfilling for me. Most emails and phone calls end up bringing smiles to people’s faces, instead of being argumentative,” he said. “It is a great opportunity to learn from different partners. We are constantly working with other talent representatives who are equally passionate, as well as big technology companies who are building products, TV networks who are broadcasting to hundreds of millions of people, and brand partners who are innovating in their spaces. Learning from all sorts of talented thinkers, innovators, and industry creators always makes me and my creators step up our games.”
Ashtar does all this through his agency Never Napping, representing many top content creators such as Timothy Goodman, Amanda Rach Lee, and The Icing Artist. In a way, he is a storyteller, always keeping an eye out for intriguing creators that have their own stories to tell that he can help achieve success beyond their wildest aspirations.
“I like empowering our creators to celebrate the things that make them authentically unique and share their stories to old fans and new, continually expanding their business and horizons by building teams, developing product lines, creating original forms of content, and seeing themselves projected in commercials alongside celebrities,” he said.
Ashtar works with many of the world’s most recognizable brands developing synergistic partnerships with his creators, including Disney, Google, Samsung, Nintendo, Coca Cola, Netflix, and many others. These partnerships allow his creators to develop their voices, build their audiences across extended platforms and borders, and take their brand to the next level.
To achieve these successes, Ashtar has utilized a philosophy of talent management that has enabled him to be an internationally-sought after talent manager. His company, Never Napping, is built on the following principles: cultivate, empower, collaborate, evolve, inclusive, and elevate.
“Cultivating a handful of creators as their exclusive 360° management, we help them forge meaningful relationships with leading agencies, brands, and press outlets. Empowering creators to become true changemakers and celebrate the things that make them unique, we provide them with resources and opportunities to amplify their voice across platforms. Collaborating and building partnerships between our creators and brands who care is a top priority. We place our creators in Superbowl and Oscars commercials, and other award-winning traditional, social, and experiential campaigns. We do so by collaboratively partnering closely with brands and their advertising and PR agencies.”
“Evolving and trailblazing across the digital and social space for nearly a decade, we understand that platforms, audiences, and forms of content are constantly shifting. We work with our creators as they adapt their voices accordingly, such that they become leading lights for platform initiatives such as YouTube’s Shorts, TikTok’s Instructive Accelerator Program, Snap’s Discover, and Facebook’s Soundbites. Establishing global relationships with all of the major and emerging platforms as well as legacy brands and niche products, we also look to burgeoning markets and initiatives in order to expand and strengthen our creators’ reach. From speaking engagements (our creators have upcoming speaking engagements at Netflix, Starbucks, and Pinterest) to consulting for Fortune 500 companies.”
“Advocating for a more inclusive and kind media landscape, we help pioneer diversity initiatives like YouTube’s Black Creator Fund and TikTok’s Instructive Accelerator Program and support advocacy initiatives with our friends like The Ad Council and St. Jude. We aim to positively disrupt the social and digital media realm through inclusive thinking, diverse and meaningful content, and an uplifting wave of positivity. By elevating our creators, they are regularly featured on television shows such as The Today Show and Good Morning America, publications such as People and Vogue, industry events like VidCon and BrandCast, and award shows like the Shortys and Streamys.”
With such a mindset, it is evident why Ashtar is at the top of his game, and named one of Business Insider’s Top Influencer Talent Managers. His versatility is what has allowed him to become a voice of reason in the industry, and one many turn to. For those looking to follow in his footsteps, he says that knowledge and passion are key to success.
“In today’s world, it is not enough to simply understand one facet of the industry, be it the technical aspects of social media or the internet, gaming platforms, and other such technical aspects, nor cultural trends or understanding who the hottest athletes, or memes are. You also need a strong passion for their intersection,” he advised. “When you think of an event, such as the Olympics, you would want to think about both social narratives and what would play well on TV versus on a given social narrative front. In addition, what brand advertisers might be drawn to, and how each of those stories can and should be told. Having an eye for talent beyond just the things you are personally drawn to, but also having a gut feeling and analytical framework for thinking through the lens of those you want to work with. Likeability and trustworthiness are very important factors when considering what it takes for certain talent to work with you. I think in this field, your academic pedigree isn’t as important as some other sister industries, as many creators are self-made and fiercely independent outside thinkers.”
For more information on Ashtar and Never Napping, check out their website.