For a demographic that has a consumer buying power of $1.3T by the end of 2017, there still seems to be a huge gap or disparity with the representation of Black Influencers in various industries.
Sure, there are “levels to this,” but as Black American culture continues to set the trends in fashion, music, and other popular culture, why aren’t brands as eager to work with Black Influencers as much as our other brothers and sisters?
As a Travel Influencer and creator of Rachel Travels, I’ve had remarkable opportunities to work with amazing global brands like major airlines, luxury resorts, and a myriad of other organizations to help educate, encourage and bring awareness to my audience of Black travelers.
However, many Black influencers are having a challenging time convincing brands that the Black American consumer demographic should not only be included in their core marketing strategies; but that our experiences, habits, and behaviors are unique and require different approaches.
Kent Johnson, Co-Founder of Black and Abroad said at the Travel and Social Good Summit,
Inclusion isn’t putting a Black or Brown face on a White Experience.
With this, I’ve combined a small list of highly qualified, brilliant, and passionate Black Influencers whose brands you should be eager to partner and collaborate with in 2018.
Will Edmond: The creator of “The Adventures of Will,” has coined himself as a "nature-loving nomad." Will’s mission is to encourage his audience to explore the world, educate sustainability through ‘living off the land,’ vegan cooking, and much more. His gift of great storytelling and education is presented through video. You can catch his latest episodes here.
For Brands interested in partnering, visit: www.WillEdmond.com.
Jetta Bates Vasilatos: With 60 countries under her belt, Jetta is the founder of the Jetta Setting Travel and Lifestyle Channel. Jetta is an avid cool hunter who is all about jumping in, embracing the culture, and frequently showing up where she is least expected. Star of Bravo TV’s “Tour Group,” Jetta is an on-air contributor, skilled interviewer, photographer, and engaging digital correspondent who revels in sharing authentic travel and lifestyle experiences and trends.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to www.JettaSetting.com.
Black & Abroad: What started as a movement between a small group of friends, quickly catapulted into one of the beloved mainstays of the black travel community. Black & Abroad is a cultural collective dedicated to celebrating and encouraging travel among the African Diaspora. Through their web content, videos, and merchandise, founders Eric Martin and Kent Johnson have managed to create a platform that has garnered a presence in over 120 countries in all seven continents.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Peace Connection: Peace Makers of World Peace Connection, Chari Chin-Young and Dane Caston truly believe that humans can create world peace if we all follow our inner inspiration. World Peace Connection founders are high school sweethearts who quit their jobs to backpack the world with just their inspiration and dreams. Their mission is to ask people, "What inspires you the most about life and living?”. They’ve collected over 200 inspiring stories in over 20 global cities. World Peace Connection creates Peace Projects for brands, schools, and entrepreneurs who are looking to create World Peace through social action.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to: www.WorldPeaceConnection.us.
Amanda Spann: Amanda is the PR girl turned Founder behind apps like TipOff Game and AfriDate. Previously running a virtual accelerator for startups in Africa and the African Diaspora, she leverages her branding and business background to offer tools, resources and consulting services to companies and app startups desiring to build their brands from any and everywhere. Her sites YouNeedABlackPerson.com and ConsultABlackWoman.com made waves in the aftermath of the Pepsi and Shea Moisture Advertising flubs.
For brands looking to connect with a rising Techpreneur or solicit consulting services for themselves, you can contact Amanda at: www.SpannAndCompany.com
Wayne Sutton: With over 14 years experience in technology, design and business development and as the Co-founder of Change Catalyst and its Tech Inclusion programs, Wayne has created and paved the way for underrepresented communities and minorities in the tech space. Waynes mission is to encourage, educate, and support start-up entrepreneurs to innovate and change the world.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to: www.SocialWayne.com.
Dawn Dickson: After eight short months in Corporate America, Dawn quickly realized that Corporate America was not the path she was created to thrive in. The Founder and CEO of Flat Out Heels, her company changed the game when they offered foldable flats that you can purchase from vending machines. Dawn is also the Founder of PopCom, an automated retailing technology company, provides consumer data and analytics to assist vending machines in understanding their demographics and buying habits.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to: Dawn Dickson
Lifestyle & Wellness
Tiffany Janay: Tiffany has been on the scene calling people to action to Motivate Yourself for nearly a decade. Through her social media, events, and sisterhood circles she has inspired thousands to make life-saving decisions. She believes that holistic living is the root of everything and the more one can bring in their connection with Mother Earth, the greater they will feel and uncover their unique purpose. She shares her love of plant-based lifestyles with recipes while traveling the world. She also shares her journey of womanhood and empowers both men and women alike with her motivational, vulnerable expressions, and thought invoking posts.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to: TiffanyJanay.com
Rwenshaun Miller: While mental health is a topic that is starting to gain momentum, awareness, and acceptance in the black community, Rwenshaun stands as an advocate and a champion in this space. Through his journey after being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, he founded Eustress, Inc to raise awareness on the importance of mental health in underserved communities allowing individuals to identify and overcome challenges to achieve a healthier and productive lifestyle. A speaker, coach, and consultant, Rwenshaun uses his platform and personal experiences to encourage, support, and advocate awareness around mental health, especially for black men in America.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to: www.Rwenshaun.com
Alexis Felder: "Lexi with the Curls” as she is known, started out as one of the first YouTube vloggers who focused on healthy, natural, black hair. Alexis is multi-fascinated, focusing on encouraging women of color to embrace themselves through fitness, fashion, self-care, and travel.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to: www.LexiWithTheCurls.com.
Jason Warner: Community building, is a phrase which encompasses Jason’s brand, Own The Vision Foundation. Own The Vision Foundation is a catalyst to assist, encourage, and develop Black communities across the United States to come together with common interests and have joint ownership or participation.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to: Jason@ownthevision.com
Free The Vision: Free The Vision is the cultural influencer and social curator behind a multitude of lifestyle content. From authoring books, speaking engagements, writing editorials, hosting, cohosting, and producing podcasts his mark is undeniable. He is the necessary perspective to any conversation. He is the host and creator of the podcast Uncivilized Gentleman, as well as co-host of Silence The Shame Podcast with the legendary Shanti Das. He is an emerging presence you do not want to take your eyes off.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to: FreeTheVision.com
As Black women are the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs, there is a massive opportunity for brands to tap into a segment of business owners that are eager for new tools, resources, and information on how to create, streamline, and sustain thriving businesses.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to: www.koereyelle.com
Kerry Abner: Kerry is a passionate, non-traditional marketing guy connecting brands to new audiences through exchanges of value. He hosts events for artists, bloggers, entrepreneurs, career-climbers and everyone in between. Kerry's businesses help companies turn their audience into advocates through digital, social and experiential activations. His websites www.intecoogroup.com & www.fuelconcepthouse.com were founded on the need to better facilitate cross-generational relationships in the digital age. He is best known for delivering outside-the-box ideas, unwavering work ethic, and his empowering personality.
For brands looking to connect with a rising marketing thought-leader for consulting or services, you can contact Kerry at: Kerry@intecoogroup.com.
Nehemiah Davis: Nehemiah Davis is a world traveling, social entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. He’s known for his philanthropic efforts helping communities and countries around the world with clothing drives, toiletries drives & book drives. When Nehemiah isn’t traveling & curating community events, he runs an online academy that’s helping hundreds of people around the world follow and pursue their dreams.
For brands looking to partner with an entrepreneur/ philanthropist who profoundly cares about serving the community and helping others, contact Nehemiah at: www.NehemiahDavisFoundation.org
Ryan Wilson: #MembersOnly is the tag in which Ryan Wilson and Co-Founder TK Peterson have tagged their innovative, invitation-only, members club, The Gathering Spot. Leaving his Corporate job to create a safe, innovative, “space and community,” Ryan’s mission and vision are to bring together creatives from all walks of life to enjoy, build, and network in an inclusive space.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to: Info@TheGatheringSpot.club
Dominique Broadway: Focusing on demystifying the overwhelm, miseducation, and misconceptions of finances, Dominique is a rising powerhouse. From an early age, Dominique has been intrigued with money; ways to generate it, how it moves, and most importantly the impact it has on people’s lives. With Social Money Movement, Dominique is helping Millennials shatter the very taboo and perceptions as it pertains to finances, wealth, and building legacy.
For Brands interested in partnering, send inquiries to: www.DominiqueBroadway.com.