Updated: Sep 21, 2020
Whew! The last six weeks have been one wild ride, hasn't it? I have learned so much about myself, about my people, about the world and really the power of voice, passion and commitment to a cause and the changes that can be made. What started as one horrific and absolutely heart-wrenching situation, ignited a revolution it seems on every level and social media led the charge in connection, the sharing of information and really catapulting people into the limelight.
What a time to be alive!
As a newly self-proclaimed influencer, blogger, content creator, the last six weeks I also learned about the complete disparity in this industry between Black and Brown creators and our counterparts. I think it could have easily been assumed before it was called out and brought to the forefront, but its nice to know that what I and so many of my friends who are in this world have been feeling wasn't a figment of our imaginations. This influencer/blogger world, much like so many other industries isn't set up fairly and has so much work and room for growth to become equitable for those who participate in it, and I am excited to be a part during this time to see if it will rise to the occasion.
BLACK INFLUENCERS VS. WHITE INFLUENCERS:
Did you know that Black influencers make significantly less than white influencers?
Did you know that Black influencers have to work 3x as hard as white influencers to grow on platforms like Instagram?
While white influencers are making on average $10-15k per post, a Black influencer with the same content and following is making 1/4th of that. How is that fair? How is the right and okay? The #influencerpaygap is hugely different between Black influencers and that of those who are of white and of Asian descent.
The recent movement of Amplify Melanated Voices really brought Black creators to the forefront on social media. We saw a rush to include, talk about and share the content and voices of those creators and although the movement was mostly positive there were a few problems with it:
Like social media trends, it was a rush where content creators grew over night and had to get in position to manage and create compelling content for the influx of followers almost immediately. I grew 8k NEW followers in 7 days and have a close friend who grew 36k followers nearly over night. Can you imagine the added pressure to keep those followers?
It also put the power in the hands of the creators who really need to relinquish the power. Amplify Melanated voices, although so powerful, still kept the power and the influence in the hands of those who are used to having it. "Follow this creator because we say so," but what happens when that Black creator is no longer getting that boost and the passion behind movement has waned?
I think that is a bit of what we are experiencing now. The trend has passed and everyone has gone back to normal and so the amplifying has quieted down, but Black influencers, creators and bloggers still need our voices and support.
11 WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR FAVORITE CONTENT CREATORS AND BLOGGERS
So below, I have listed some quick and easy ways to continue to A M P L I F Y the voices of (Black) influencers, bloggers, and content creators you respect, enjoy following, learn from and want to see grow and the best part is (most) of the simple steps are free to do and take so little time, but make HUGE impact.
Like, Comment, Share & Save their posts: We are on social media scrolling away, when you see your favorite creators come up, show them love by "liking" their post, sharing their content (if you love it), saving their post and commenting and here's why this is important: Engagement is the name of the game on social media platforms. Many of your favorite creators are able to generate income from the content they produce, but that content HAS TO be engaged with. Your likes, comments, saves and shares ALL count as engagement for that creator and they take less than a couple minutes to do. Another really important fact to understand is that most influencer agencies look for accounts that average at a minimum 400-500 likes per post. If you are like me and have 15,000 followers, but struggle to get to 400 likes a lot of opportunities become unavailable. So take the time to take the thoughts in your heads and put them on the platform and give up those likes and comments.
Show them love in your IG Stories, Retweet, Tag them on FB: if you believe in the content that your favorite creator is making, don't keep it in your head. Share it out. Retweet it, post it in your stories and tag them and let them know. By sharing content, you are giving your favorite creators opportunity to get in front of a new person, audience or a brand that may not have heard of them before. This could lead to all types of amazing opportunities for them and can make a tremendous impact on their life and goals
Tell Your Friends About Them: if you love the work the creator is doing, tell you friends about them by sharing a post or quote on your main feed or doing a "follow" post in your stories. Followers are the name of the influence game in this content world, so sharing is coveted social capital that makes a huge difference.
Support Their Sponsored Content by commenting, clicking the link in bio or purchasing from their unique link or with their affiliate codes if you want to purchase a specific item you know they are affiliated with: This is a big one and a bit of what came first, "the chicken or the egg" scenario. Sponsored content reigns supreme on social media and tells brands that an influencer can convert. When you see your favorite creator share a sponsored post, it is so important that you engage with that add, post, sale. It is how the creator is able to get more opportunities and continue to grow their brand. Don't back away when you see those hashtags that make you cringe "#gifted, #ad, #sponsored, #giveaway, #partner because that means that your favorite creator is growing and making impact AND you want to be a part of that story
Enter their giveaways when you see your favorite creator doing a one: and enter ESPECIALLY if you love the product/ brand they are representing. This communicates to their partner that the influence they carry is real and not a fluke and that they can be trusted to convert! Doing the simple steps of a giveaway are small but make a monumental difference for the creator who is growing their platform and the bonus: YOU might just win something cool!
Purchase their products (courses, presets, t-shirts): if they are selling, support them. Sow into their business. Invest in what they are doing.