Behind the Screen: Isabella Mastrodicasa’s Impact on Female Creators

There’s no question that social media shapes careers and builds empires, and though it’s a crowded space – Talent Manager and Film/TV Producer Isabella Mastrodicasa stands out as a pioneering force.

As the founder of Never Settle Media, a management and production company based in Los Angeles, Isabella has carved a unique niche by empowering female creators through innovative management strategies. Never Settle Media isn’t just a management company; it’s a haven for female storytellers aiming to leave their mark on the world. With a strong focus on diversity and adaptability, Isabella’s agency nurtures talent across various platforms, including TikTok, YouTube, and TV/Film.

From her academic roots at Bocconi University in Milan to making a significant impact in Hollywood’s bustling entertainment industry, Isabella’s journey is as compelling as it is instructive. With a specialized background from UCLA in Business & Management of Entertainment, she adeptly bridges the gap between artistic creativity and business acumen.

Check out the full interview below.

Can you walk us through your journey from Bocconi University to founding Never Settle Media in LA?

Isabella Mastrodicasa: When I started Law School at Bocconi at 18, I was terrified of the future and very unaware of where I really wanted to be in life or how to get there. I just had my American Dream that required a big leap of faith without any mentorship or clear path ahead. Looking back at the past ten years of working for several management and production companies, it’s impressive how many curveballs were thrown at me and how many challenges I had to overcome to get to where I am now with Never Settle Media, which I consider the real beginning.

I have learned new skills from every internship and job I have had in the entertainment industry, and what I can firmly say is that with determination and discipline, you can really achieve anything you set your mind to.

What inspired you to focus on empowering female creators in the digital space?

Isabella Mastrodicasa: I have always been all about sisterhood & a big team player with other women at work, so I knew that my company needed to have a strong female voice as a reflection of mine. When I launched the digital department for my previous company, it was June of 2020, and Hollywood was completely shut down.

Given my expertise in managing Talent and my extensive knowledge of social media, I knew I had the right intuition by reaching out to a few creators that I wanted to manage in this blooming space. Back then, the US was going through another extremely significant moment in history with Black Lives Matter, and I had a lot of conversations with women of color who felt underrepresented and marginalized.

Since I graduated in Criminal Law and have always been passionate about social justice, even more so since I became an Immigrant, I thought that focusing on diversity and advocating for women & women of color who express their creativity through social media was something that would keep me motivated and educated, humble and aware of my surroundings, so that I can be part a social change while building my own reality.

How do you and your team at Never Settle Media identify potential talent in such a saturated market?

Isabella Mastrodicasa: Identifying new Talent in this space today is one of the hardest tasks, and despite meeting new creators every week, we are very selective about taking new people on board. We don’t aim to have a long list of Talent but to have fewer and stronger relationships with those with whom we have a similar vision.

Besides being talented at creating content and consistently posting on their channels, creators also need to have a natural way to connect and engage with their audience every day. They need to be compelling and charismatic with their stories and leave us wanting to see more to really impress partners in this space and stand out with viewers.

Another essential element that becomes more important every year and that we use as a factor in selecting new creators to sign, is obviously their ability to convert and drive sales for an engaged audience towards the brands that they really trust and have a strong connection with.

Finding all these elements becomes harder and harder. Besides occasionally reaching out to Creators that we follow and love, we also receive referrals from our current clients, whom we already manage.

What are the key components of a successful strategy for building engaged followers for your clients?

Isabella Mastrodicasa: To build an engaged following, our clients approach their audience in the most authentic way possible. It is challenging sometimes for them to draw a line on what to keep private while being so exposed every day, but ultimately, they choose to bring their followers on board with their journeys as much as possible.

This doesn’t mean only sharing happy family moments, but also, and most importantly, sharing their deepest vulnerabilities and sad days. That’s what makes followers care about their story, root for them, and engage with their real personalities.

Besides authenticity, another key component in building engagement is posting frequently and with consistency. Creators need to remind their audience why they should tune in every day and make them feel seen & heard in order to receive support for their life & career.

In your experience, what are the biggest challenges facing female creators today, and how does your agency help navigate these?

Isabella Mastrodicasa: One of the biggest challenges that a lot of female creators face today is definitely the pressure from their audience to constantly show up, as well as the overall anxiety of having so many eyes on your page daily.

Being subject to strangers judging daily how you look, or seem, or should be can definitely lead to burnout if added to the tight deadlines and high expectations that brands and partners often put on Creators. But it’s also all part of self-growth and a great way to keep learning, so it’s important to see it all with a positive eye since it’s part of the nature of this hectic business.

We always remind clients to be honest both on their channels & in front of business opportunities, hear everyone’s feedback, and ultimately stay true to themselves while respecting others’ opinions. I think that sometimes taking a small 48 hour cleanse from social media can also help recharge and handle the intensity of it all, I always try to do the same on weekends.

Isabella Mastrodicasa
Photo Credit: Lindsey Englander

How do you ensure the strategies you craft for your clients stay true to their authentic voices?

Isabella Mastrodicasa: We always have honest conversations with our clients and ask how they feel about a certain collaboration or certain types of content or trends. Ultimately, they need to feel comfortable with their choices and supported on their journey. This sometimes is limited when we need to hit pressing goals or if there is a tight timeline that we need to follow.

However, we try not to put pressure on clients if they need a break or prefer not to move forward with a project. We voice their concerns and address them when needed. We are a team that can only win together, and we do all we can to ensure that we have aggressive strategies in place while also fully respecting our Talent’s voice and opinion so that they can make choices that are authentic to who they are.

Could you share a practical tip for creators looking to grow their presence on platforms like TikTok and YouTube?

Isabella Mastrodicasa: One of my best pieces of advice is to experiment with content and not get discouraged if numbers aren’t rewarding you right away. Try to find a niche that people find interesting and where you feel that you can express yourself while contributing to a community.

Another essential element is to stay consistent and post as often as possible until you find your formula and what people respond to. Lastly, remember that you are unique, and your perspective, personality & taste are all you have in this space. You need to share your story, share your personality and charisma, let people into your life and be vulnerable, this is what makes you interesting and relatable. Numbers will follow when you find your own voice and audience, but keep experimenting with consistency while telling your own story, in your own voice.

Remember to also jump on current trends & challenges, use new tools, and share viral songs that viewers are using so that the algorithm can play in your favor.

Can you share the most rewarding part of your work in empowering and representing female storytellers?

Isabella Mastrodicasa: One of the most rewarding aspects of representing female storytellers is seeing their growth over time and being able to share all the ups and downs with them. But, most importantly, to see their excitement for achieving milestones that they never thought possible because they felt guided and supported through our work.

As a female entrepreneur, being able to help other women launch and grow their own companies and brands is something that is empowering and extremely soul-filling.

Looking ahead, how do you see the role of digital creators evolving, and what part will Never Settle Media play in this future?

Isabella Mastrodicasa: It’s always hard to predict what the future of such a volatile market holds. But we will definitely keep investing in technology and new media, as well as in community & network building.

It’s essential that Creators can evolve, adapt, and bring their engaged audience wherever we are headed. Never Settle is a company open to all media and not tied to one because we invest in the strength and power of our storytellers, and we support them from the very beginning, growing with them and getting on board with their ambitions over a long period of time.

We will keep staying ahead of the curve and be receptive to all new needs that future audiences and markets will require while still investing in our clients’ relationship with their viewers.

Lastly, is there a specific mantra, quote, or affirmation you hold close to your heart?

Isabella Mastrodicasa: I live by the Mamba mentality, so definitely a Kobe quote: “Pressure & challenges are an opportunity to rise.”

Visit Never Settle Media at:
Instagram: @neversettlemedia and @isabellamastrodicasa

Published in Featured Articles, Featured Women
Founder & Editor | Website

Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.

Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site