The Lack of Diversity in the Influencer Market

Happy New Year! I took a little family vacation and was literally killed the first three weeks of December, trying to meet a sales goal at work. You’re probably thinking, but I thought she’s a high school principal? I am, but that’s another blog post all together. This evening I’m here to talk about something that’s been getting under my skin. Maybe I’m hypersensitive, maybe I’m not seeing the trees through the fog but I don’t think so. I’ve lived in this skin long enough to know when I think something funny is going on and so I’m just going to put it out there.

As someone rather new to blogging and the “industry”, I’ve noticed a few things when trying to monetize one’s blog or become an “Influencer”, for a company or product. Either, the company wants to pay you a small sales commission after you buy a ton of their products and advertise them on YOUR platform for essentially pennies on the dollar. If a customer buys from your link, fantastic-you’ve earned yourself a little dough, if not you’ve earned nothing. There are also tons of people out there selling their stories and classes on how to become a jet setting Influencer. I don’t blame them a bit, but they’re making money selling classes (wish I thought of it), and so far I don’t think too many of us have cracked the code. Before I dive in too deep, we can say this discussion does not include celebrities, this is about regular folks like us, trying to find a little piece of the social media pie. Then you have the more popular Influencer sites, which I’m going to say it…lacks diversity.

Yes, I confess, I’m bi-racial, and probably only make up about 2% of the population, so not too many of us represented on the LiketoKnowIt app. For what it’s worth, I’ve spoken to countless people of color who have been turned down by various Influencer markets. So it appears, apps are looking pretty colorless. I barely see Asians represented, Latinos…am I crazy? Did I miss something? There’s a few gals and guys out there, just enough so no one really notices, but I’ve noticed. If someone has an answer, I’d love to hear it. Is it the amount of followers? Should one rival Justin Bieber? Does a person need tons of money to shop endlessly at Nordstrom, in hopes of being noticed? Like I said, I jumped in full force less than a year ago, and between the algorithms, the shadow bans, the SEO’s, hashtags and all kinds of rules and regulations, how is a person of color supposed to compete in this race? I’d love to hear your take! Comments and dialogue are encouraged.

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2 comments

  1. I started travelblogging a while ago and I’ve noticed the same thing in the “travel industry”. There are hardly any noticeable African American people on social media in the travel industry. I think influencing and other social platform industries are harder for POC because those that advertise STILL don’t see POC as a viable money making opportunity. I feel like they think POC don’t have any money so why waste advertising or marketing money on a person of color when they can have a non-person of color who most likely has more followers aka influence reach more people in their target market. Truthfully though, businesses are really missing out because there is a lot of money that POC spend on products or could spend on products if only those businesses would show interest. Also, POC just don’t normally look the part usually due to showcasing the stereotypical products that everyone expects and not showing variety and diversity. If we showcase products not specifically within POC niches then we can get more followers outside or stereotypical norms thus expanding the parameters of our marketing opportunities.

    1. I agree and it breaks my heart. I just saw a person get approved for a big influencer app and another friend (POC) disapproved. It’s disheartening.

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