Saturday, April 25, 2020

5 Reasons Why Black And Latino Content Creators Need To Collaborate More

Fellow content creators, I ask:  Have we hit a wall of our own making?  The idea that a successful content creator targets a specific audience has long been content marketing mantra.  Focus on a niche, be in a specific ecosystem where you can easily find your customers, are all suggestions that I've been following for years.  They make sense, to a certain extent.

A couple days ago I got a LinkedIn notification.  It was time for "Tea with GaryVee."  I don't tune in all the time, but I was done being my kid's teacher for the day, so I thought: let me see what type of good shit GaryV is dishing out today.  I checked my FB stream one last time (I'm a compulsive notification eliminator) and to my surprise, saw that Gary was going live on FB too!  Dude was on both platforms simultaneously.  Probably been done by others, but I hadn't noticed.  Call me a tech square.

I use Emojime and Over to make quotes for my student/teen followers on IG

There was all sorts of wisdom Gary dished out.  Among these, to be human.  Engage with ALL your followers at first so long as they're not simply cutting and pasting comments into your posts.  Now this next part he didn't specifically air out verbally, but it's quite obvious to any critical thinker.  His Zoom guests for that Tea w/GV episode came from all walks of life, represented various social media platforms, and created different types of content.  Well, duh?  You might be thinking: Gary helps anyone!  That's exactly my point.  His end of program offers (his dad's wine club subscription, raffle tickets, etc.) is how he monetizes his sessions with viewers.  And I don't think he cares who's buying what he's selling.

Latino and Black Content Creators Need to Partner Up More

There are a shit ton of great Black and Latino content creators out there.  Bloggers, Podcasters, YouTubers, Instagramers, and Twitch channel streamers.  By the way, Twitch is dope!  Last night I listened to Deftones' Chino Moreno do a live DJ set and it was exactly what I needed on a pandemic Friday night.  But I digress.  But really I don't.  I mean, the younger generation just doesn't seem to care as much who's on their chat.  The era of creative expression and live entertainment embraces a more flexible approach to growth that gives little credence to the "target a specific audience" mantra.

While certain platforms like blogs, podcasts, and recorded videos perhaps require more content specificity, there are still ways we, people of color (and I'm only saying that in the sense of the word cuz I'm one white looking Mexican), can reach wider audiences, and grow our subscriber base.  It doesn't involve trying to out-compete each other!  In fact, it's quite the opposite: collaboration.  As an example of mutually beneficial collaboration, I offer the following two cases.

Last week I was a guest on Minority Money PodcastOn the episode, I talked the state of education, family finances, and how minority families can grow their wealth.  The host, Emlen, was kind enough to have me, and to link to my sites, including to those of my products.  What I liked about Emlen's podcast is that he brings in the perspectives of all people in an attempt to help minorities improve their money mindset and finances.  He never asked me to include this blurb here and link to his podcast, by the way.  I did it because that's how collaboration works.  I help you, you help me.

Before working with Emlen, I collaborated with Tony Elion JrI reached out to him on LinkedIn and proposed we swap book reviews on Amazon.  He agreed, and his review of my stock market book for minority teens is amazing!  As someone with integrity, I specifically told him to read my book and give it an honest feedback, and that I'd do the same for him.  Win-win!

Now here are five reasons why Black and Latino content creators should collaborate more often with each other:

1.  To avoid being typecast.  Okay, if your platform is for Blacks, or for Latinos exclusively because that's your mission in life, to help your peeps, then okay.  I get it.  But if it isn't, and you see your following looking and talking like you, then maybe you're not doing a good job of reaching out to other minorities?

2.  To avoid stalling out your growth.  Growth is everything.  If you see that you're not picking up subs or followers at the same rate as you were before, meaning, you've stalled out, perhaps you need new blood, features, or idea exchanges with other people of color?

3.  To avoid an earnings plateau.  If people aren't buying your merch anymore, or you're not getting sponsorships as you used to, it could be that your value add to your followers has hit a predictable zone.  Time to change things up!

4.  To get fresh ideas.  Content creation is not easy.  It can feel like a burden sometimes.  Trust me, I know!  When you collaborate with other people, especially other people of color, you get invigorated because you see yourself as part of a greater cause.  The energy you get leads to new ideas that can end up helping your followers even more!

5.  To network.  When you collaborate with a person of color outside your race, you are officially family.  This means the homie here is gonna hook you up with the homegirl there.  Or the brotha here will connect you with sistah over there.  We fam afterwards!

Look, we can't come up in this society if we behave like crabs in a bucket.  Not saying we are all doing this.  But, we can certainly do more to lend each other a hand.  We're all minority people here in this country, and when one of us helps to lift another, we all benefit!  Believe that.

Before I go, I want to talk about a worthy cause.  One of my homies from high school, Lloyd Pierce, coach of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, and his wife, Melissa, have started an organization, The Atlanta Pledge, to support communities in Atlanta.  The ATL Pledge has chosen to help two Atlanta-based non-profits, Hope Thru Soap, and Atlanta Community Food Bank.  I realize that at this time there are many non-profits throughout the country that can use donations.  All I ask is that you check out the website linked in this paragraph, and read.  If you find that you can get behind the mission of either non-profit, that you consider making a donation. You can donate any monetary amount, and your donation is secure.

Thank-you and take care amigos!         

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