As we enter 2024, the creator economy is making clear that it’s here to stay. Not only that, but it’s estimated to double in size within the next three years. Influencers with solid engaged followings are earning six figure salaries. UK influencers with 50,000-200,000 followers on Instagram are making an average of £75,000 annually from the Meta app.
It’s near impossible for an influencer to make these numbers without an influencer agency. These agencies help clients decide between different business opportunities, connect them with other creators and industry experts, and earn a consistent income. While some management firms and agencies have established broad client rosters, others are focused on specific criteria, like creators in the travel industry or those from diverse backgrounds.
However, as with any industry, the creator economy still has a long way to go in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI. In some of the latest research available on the topic, a December 2021 report from public-relations network MSL Group and The Influencer League found a 29% racial pay gap between white and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, or BIPOC, influencers — and that gap widened to 35% between white and Black influencers.
As a diverse company ourselves, we felt inspired to compile a list of influencer-management agencies led by people of color who are ensuring daily that POC influencers are getting the pay and opportunities they deserve.
Influence with Impact
Latina creator Lissette Calveiro founded Influence with Impact to bridge the gap between creators and brands
As Latinas, especially us Latinos of indigenous, mestizo and Afro origin, we are so largely underrepresented in pretty much every sector of the media.
In 2020, Latina creator Calveiro founded Influence With Impact, a creator-forward consultancy that supports influencers in turning their social presence into a balanced business.
The company’s services include talent management, business coaching, and creator education.
Influence with Impact is headquartered in Denver, Colorado but also works out of New York and the Pacific Northwest, representing 16 exclusive creators across the US and Puerto Rico. Eighty-eight percent of the talent roster identify as a person of color or part of the LGBTQ+ community, working across niches like fashion, beauty, travel, food, and photography.
“I knew that Latinas were underpaid in my space and I had naturally built a community of mostly BIPOC women in my field and felt passionate about wanting to advocate for these voices and get us paid!” she said.
Talent includes: Anela Malik, Giovanna Gonzalez, and Aimee Kelly Gomez
Nigerian creator Bobai Bally Balat founded an influencer agency to address the pay disparity between African and US based creators
Balat said he wanted to build a company that would help creators like him earn multiple streams of income to build a financially stable lifestyle, which wasn’t what he was seeing.
Today, TIMA works with over 70 African creators in niches such as technology, finance, and travel. Balat’s team of 12 currently operates in Nigeria, Cameroon, and South Africa. The firm doesn’t only help creators land collaborations with brands but also works with them to launch digital products and subscription or membership models.
When scouting for new talent, the firm evaluates four key elements: following, audience engagement, brand fit, and entrepreneurship mindset.
Talent includes: Tayo Aina, Kitchen Muse, Aproko Doctor, and Miss Techy
SevenSix Agency is a London-based talent management and influencer marketing agency run by Black women
Charlotte Stavrou founded SevenSiz in 2019. She is both the CEO of SevenSix Agency and co-host of BBC Radio 4 podcast, “All Consuming.”
In addition to her consultancy work, Stavrou and her team offer influencer-marketing training to brands and agencies. The team also creates yearly influencer-pricing reports that highlight pay gaps within the industry.
The agency amplifies underrepresented voices with a focus on inclusive influencer-marketing strategies, working with creators across beauty, Afro and curly hair, fashion, and lifestyle categories. The firm has helped its clients land deals with brands like L’Oréal, Estée Lauder Group brands, and Dove.
Clients include: Archie Mustow, Rèy Styles, Suzie Bakos, and Lee Paul Williams
A full-service talent-management agency founded by a South Asian graduate, the agency aims to bring diversity to the entertainment industry by working with underrepresented creators to secure access to more brand collaborations and media campaigns. In addition to creators, it also works with choreographers, dancers, models, and artists, who reach an audience of more than 80 million.
A graduate of Emerson College, 26-year-old Cheruku began thinking about starting her own agency while working for Madison Square Garden’s marketing team. At the time, she was working on TikTok strategy, including sourcing well-known TikTokers Charli and Dixie D’Amelio to create content on the company’s social-media accounts. She noticed that more white creators were getting opportunities to work with brands like MSG and being paid for it, while BIPOC creators were rarely hired and were paid less. She decided to start her agency to help creators of color land more brand deals and be paid what they were worth.
Canada-based Kensington Grey works with more than 50 Black creators on every social platform
Shannae Ingleton Smith, 42, founded in 2019 Kensington Grey Agency and now serves as its president and CEO.
Prior to launching Kensington Grey, Smith worked in media sales. She launched Kensington Grey with her husband and, at the time, the two of them were working out of their kitchen with a few influencers, including KarenBritChick, HighlowLuxxe, and Shaneice Crystal.
The agency is focused on working with Black creators on every social platform, with an emphasis on lifestyle, parenting, fashion, and beauty.
The firm represents more than 90 creators. It’s currently based in Toronto, but the team often travels with clients to cities like New York, Dallas, Miami, and Los Angeles for events and meetings.
Talent includes: Joel Bervell, DeAndre Brown, and KarenBritChick
Malc Agency represents diverse talent in the US, the UK, and Africa
Malc Agency was launched in 2020 by Mariam Sinminsola Abass, who was raised in Ibadan, Nigeria, completed higher education in the UK, and now shuffles between Lagos, Nigeria and London.
Before founding the company, she freelanced as a senior brand consultant and celebrity fashion stylist and worked in digital and influencer marketing at the communications firm Tally.
During this time, she noticed that creators of color weren’t getting a lot of visibility in brand campaigns. She did some research about the pay gaps and decided that she wanted to be a part of changing the industry.
Malc Agency represents talent in the US, the UK, and Africa, and recently expanded into strategic creative communications for Afrobeats music artists.
Jessica Joseph started Season25 after managing talent at Whalar, where she worked with mostly white creators
Twenty-nine-year-old Joseph launched in June 2020 the talent-management agency Season25 with four clients. She now manages 10 creators and has worked on more than 600 brand campaigns with her four-person team.
Initially, Joseph’s agency focused on representing Black creators, but has expanded to creators from all socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.
The agency was founded in London, and most of the creators that Season25 represents are also UK-based.
Talent includes: The Kabs Family, Onyi Moss, and Madame Joyce
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