We’ve talked frequently on Winfluence about the pay gap in influence marketing, both as it refers to gender and race. We’ve also spent some time with some amazing people discussing the issues of inclusivity, diversity and equity. But I don’t think anyone would say we have done so enough.

It’s important for all of us to continue to discuss these issues to ensure all parties at the table in influence marketing are mindful and thoughtful about inclusivity, diversity and equity. That’s the only way we can better ensure progress continues.

Jacques Bastien is someone who has been actively making progress for the industry, for brands and the agency partners he’s worked with. He is the CEO of Shade, an influencer marketing agency that focuses on black or brown creators. He’s managed both a digital agency, but also a black and brown talent management service. 

He says overall, we’ve made progress in closing those race gaps in pay and opportunity, but there’s a lot of progress still to come. 

We connected recently to talk about the challenges brands and creators face in working to ensure equitable opportunities come. He shared his perspective on working with brands and the concept of cultural relevance and sensitivity for not just creators, but your audience..

Smarts and a smart conversation with Jacques Bastien from Shade today on the show.  

Winfluence is made possible by Cipio.ai – The Community Commerce Marketing platform. What does that mean? It’s an influencer marketing software solution, but it has additional apps that function to tap into your brand community to drive commerce. Community Commerce Marketing moves beyond influencers to fans and followers, customers, employees and more. With Cipio.ai, you get the vital social media discovery and data you need for your typical influencer marketing effort. But additional apps help you uncover raving fans in your own community to increase sales, retention and engagement.

The best thing about Cipio.ai? You can start using it for free. Influencer discovery and list building doesn’t cost a thing. Go to jasonfalls.co/cipio and see the software that was so good, I joined the team.

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The Winfluence theme music is “One More Look” featuring Jacquire King and Stephan Sharp by The K Club found on Facebook Sound Collection.

Winfluence - Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand

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Jacques Bastien Transcript

[00:00:00] Jason: On this episode of Winfluence.

[00:00:01] Jacques: So when you’re a company wanting to reach black consumers, you are under a microscope coz black consumers, It’s not just about, yeah, the product is good. It’s also about how do you stand up for our causes, right? How do you position yourself publicly as it relates to things that relates to us, but also to making sure you’re not saying the wrong thing.

[00:00:29] Jason: There’s a difference between being an influencer and actually influencing. I’m Jason Falls, and in this podcast we explore the people, companies campaigns and stories that illustrate that difference. Welcome to Winfluence, the Influence Marketing Podcast

Hello again friends, thanks for listening to Winfluence, the Influence Marketing Podcast. We’ve talked frequently on Winfluence about the pay gap in influence marketing, both as it refers to gender and race. We’ve also spent some time with some amazing people discussing the issues of inclusivity, diversity, and equity, but I don’t think anyone would say we have done enough.

It’s important for us all to continue to discuss these issues to ensure all parties at the table in influence marketing are mindful and thoughtful about inclusivity, diversity, and equity. That’s the only way we can better ensure progress continues. Jacques Bastien is someone who has been actively making progress for the industry, for brands and the agency partners he’s worked with.

He’s the CEO of Shade, an Influencer marketing agency that focuses on black and brown creators. He’s managed both a digital agency, but also a black and brown talent management service. He says overall, we’ve made progress in closing those race gaps in pay and opportunity, but there’s a lot more progress still to come.

We connected recently to talk about the challenges brands and creators face in working to ensure equitable opportunities do come. He shared his perspective on working with brands and the concept of cultural relevance and sensitivity for not just creators, but your brands’ audience smarts, and a smart conversation with Jacques Bastien from Shade today, on Winfluence.

Winfluence is made possible by cipio.ai, you know by now I’ve recently joined the company as executive vice president for marketing, so it makes sense, cipio.ai becomes the presenting sponsor of the show. What is cipio.ai? It’s a community commerce marketing platform. What does that mean? It includes an influence marketing software solution, but it has additional apps that function to tap into your brand community to drive commerce.

Community commerce marketing moves beyond influencers to fans and followers, customers, employees, and more. With cipio.ai, you get the vital social media discovery and data you need for your typical influencer marketing efforts, but additional apps help you uncover raving fans in your own community to increase sales retention, and engagement.

When I first reviewed cipio.ai last summer long before we talked about me coming on board, I declared it the first software platform I could reasonably call an influence marketing platform without the R. That should tell you everything you need to know about why I’m now with the company. 

The best thing about cipio.ai, you can start using it for free. Influence discovery beyond just social media and list building doesn’t cost a thing. Go to jasonfalls.co/cipio, that’s jasonfalls.co/cipio. Go see the software that was so good, I joined the team. Jasonfalls.co/cipio. 

What progress has been made in the influence marketing world around diversity, inclusivity, and equity? Jacques Bastien of Shade will tell us next on Winfluence.

Jacques, let’s dive right into things, you are the CEO of Shade, which is a full service influencer marketing agency, but I also, when I go to your website, I also see a roster of talent. So kind of give us a little bit more of a drill down on what Shade is and how the talent mixes in there, because I don’t think you’re a talent agency per se, I think you’re more of a creative agency, but just clarify that for us?

[00:04:35] Jacques: Yeah, of course Jason, thanks for having me here. We got our start in 2016, we used to be in the agency space, so we used to run an agency called Boogie, which was a multicultural marketing agency. And so throughout our time there, we used to serve clients in many ways, and one of those ways was actually managing and handling their influence marketing campaigns.

And so we launched Shade, as a sister company where we started representing talent because those are talent that we were using for our campaigns anyway. And so, but about a year after that, we decided to move all of our team to shade and we’ve been focused on that company ever since. 

So, through a lot of pivots, right? So your question actually makes a lot of sense, you know, in business you gotta do a lot of pivots and so today, just about six years later, the company has changed a lot and so we do have a few talent that we still represent, however, the direction we’re going towards is to completely remove the representation arm, our talent management arm of our business, and focus primarily on the strategy and our reasoning is because, you know, when we got started, especially being an agency that focused primarily on representing black and brown talent at the time, back in 2016, it wasn’t really, you didn’t really find a lot of agencies who specifically focused on that niche.

Nowadays, they’re everywhere and so our need in the market is not as, the need is not as much there anymore, and what we believe is the next version of that is actually a strong partner to agencies as well as brands to properly help them understand, you may have your overall year goals and your overall strategy for the year, but here’s how we can implement that within Influence marketing, specifically trying to reach black and brown consumers, and so as a result of that, the role we play now is more marketing agency and we help our brands and our agency partners with the strategy part of the campaigns that we run.

[00:06:30] Jason: So the pivot toward the strategy and agency side of things rather than focusing on talent management, because there’s such kind of a population of talent representation for, black and brown creators out there, I mean, am I safe in assuming that’s a sign of progress? That things are getting a little bit better out there for black and brown creators, at least in terms of representation?

[00:06:53] Jacques: Yeah, for sure. I would say that I would say these are the different points of progress I think our industry has seen. So one, yes, there are a lot of agencies that specifically only represent black and brown talent, which is great, right? Coz we never want it to be in this industry as the only one, you know, because of what we do.

Competition is good, it tells us that more people are catering to black and brown creators and the amount of black and brown creators out there, we couldn’t be big enough to manage all of them, right? So definitely it’s, amazing progress. In addition to that, what I think I’ve also seen is there are a lot of educators in this space now, a lot of folks who are, you know, maybe in 2016, they couldn’t say, I’ve been doing this for 10 years.

They couldn’t say, I’ve been doing this for five years, but now they can add that to their expertise, they’re publishing books. They have case studies and enough time now where they’re actually teaching on both sides on the brand side, which that kind of information as always existed, but also on the creator side, folks who are teaching creators, here’s how to properly pitch yourself to brands, here’s how to negotiate yourself to brands. 

So in addition to there being managers that cater to black and brown talent, there are also a lot of resources available now, really good resources that are also going to help them, which I think even the ones that choose to be independent, they still have access to the information.

So it’s definitely been a big plus for the industry, but as a result, our brand partners, you know, they’ve been paying a little bit more lately.

[00:08:20] Jason: Yeah, that’s good, that’s good. So when you’re dealing with your clients, whether they be brands or agencies, I’m curious, are we still in a phase, coz I know we were for a while, where brands and agencies would reach out to a firm like yours and say, okay, we’ve already built our strategy for next year, and then we got to the end and realized, oh, everybody’s white, we gotta fix that.

Or have we gotten to the point now to where agencies are starting to come to you guys earlier in the process and say, hey, we don’t really know what the final vision is for this campaign or next year, we want to incorporate a really diverse and inclusive opinion here, and we want you at the table with us. How far along that spectrum have we gotten, are we still kind of that an afterthought or is it gotten to the point to where agencies and brands are starting to think about diversity first?

[00:09:14] Jacques: So we’ve made a lot of progress for sure. I think, to be honest with you, the reason a shade exists, helps with that progress. And I say that because generally when we were managing talent, we were the last on the list, right? So you have the brand, then their agency of record, then that agency’s partner, and then that agency’s partner, then that agency’s partner, and then the talent managers, right?

And so by being an agency and becoming agency partner, we’re at least two levels higher than were before. And so what that means is more control, more budget, and we can catch certain mistakes earlier on in the process and we can provide some strategies, strategic input early on in the process as well.

Do those other opportunities still come? Of course, those are the brands that seize, you know, influence marketing as just another media channel, right? I already have a message. You just gotta post that message out there. Those companies still exist here and there, and I’m still shocked that there are still companies, some of the huge Fortune 500 companies that are like, Yeah.

We’re now starting Influence Marketing, that is still a thing. Like they’re still experimenting with influence marketing and so a lot of times you see those brands they’re the ones who are more so, I have an experimental budget, I already have the message, let’s just pay them to go live and just do whatever they do. And that oftentimes is an issue because in general, influencers, especially with the good ones who have a really strong, tight relationship with their audience, they care a lot about what they say and how they present themselves and everything.

So that’s already one thing, but then there’s another layer to that where you’re dealing with a very, sensitive audience, right? Especially depends on the topic, depends on your brand, and so when you’re a company wanting to reach black consumers, you’re under a microscope, coz black consumers it’s not just about, yeah, the product is good, it’s also about how do you, stand up for our causes, right? How do you position yourself publicly as it relates to things that relates to us? So there are more, but also to making sure you’re not saying the wrong things. And I think that is, What we provide to our partners is not only are we gonna present you, you know, for example, we have a project we’re doing with a company, it’s about meat, it’s about pork more specifically, right?

Like maybe to, certain cultures, red meat means different things, and so having cultural insights, we can come in and tell you, you know, black people are split right down the middle, some folks like, we don’t touch red meat, we don’t touch pork. There are others who’s like, I’m cool with it, right? 

So how do you address that? We have campaigns we do that are health related and there are certain things that affect the black community more than others. And so thinking through how do you properly use influence marketing to reach that audience, but also being insensitive to their experiences. That’s where companies like us come in because we can provide this extra layer of strategic input to the actual campaign itself. And so the, the smart companies use that, but then you do still have those who say, look, that sounds good and Dandy, but here’s the brief, here’s the messaging, just copy and paste and let it go. And so, but it’s definitely been progress for sure.

[00:12:17] Jason: Yeah, that’s good. I’m really curious, long term here, and this is, you know, I’m gonna ask you to put on your philosopher hat for a second. Long term, is it not going to be a better world when a company like Shade isn’t necessary? And by that I mean brands and agencies have diverse staffs, they have diverse thinking from the top down. It’s not necessary to have a multicultural agency to help you because you already have that baked into how you think. Is that not kind of the ultimate win here for our culture?

[00:12:58] Jacques: I think so I would say that, I would say in a perfect world, a company where Shade doesn’t need to exist, and you know, we have another brand called Nappy, which is a stock photo website or photos of black and brown people in a world where that company doesn’t need to exist, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, right? 

But then there’s another school of thought, which is even if we weren’t, people of color weren’t minorities in America, even if it was strictly just, let’s think about, women, right? Women are a minority group. However, from just like a consumer and audience standpoint, women are pretty well respected, right?

They’re seen as, yeah, I wanna reach women because they spend the money, et cetera, et cetera. But through that, you do have agencies who specialize in reaching women, right? So I think even if we were to remove any of the historical things that’s in there, just in general, there is a benefit to just nicheing, right?

There’s a benefit to saying, I’m gonna go to the expert that can reach that specific individual. So that’s why we have Latino firms, you have black firms, and then maybe eventually, maybe there’s a company out there that’s gonna sit, We help you reach Jamaican consumers, right? Like, if you wanna go down to countries, you know what I mean?

So I think, yes, in a perfect world, it would be amazing for our services to just be, we’re just trying to help them reach a niche rather than like, actually there’s a deeper reason behind what we do, which is also bringing opportunities to folks who normally don’t have those opportunities. So that would be amazing, right? 

And then, I mean, one could even say you look at the sports industry, you know, I think sports and entertainment. I don’t think those are industries where black people are suffering, right? Or brown folks, now in movies you can say, okay, there, there’s some representation stuff here and there, but especially as it relates to sports, it’s an industry that’s sort of been, if you will, dominated by black and brown athletes, right?

So in that world, technically we have reached that where like, it almost doesn’t matter, right? So it’s a possibility, but I think in our world, especially when, you know, when we teach our clients the strategy is marketing is simple, right? Get very clear on who your customers are, find out where they hang out, send messaging to them in the way that they’re gonna understand it. And so if you are a smaller company, you may have to spread your message wide, but over time, once you realize, okay we’re such a huge company and we wanna reach individual people, you’re naturally still gonna want to hire an agency to help reach blacks consumers, an agency to help you reach LGBTQ+ consumers agency to help you reach, you know, women, consumers, and the list goes on. So I think it would be amazing for our world, but I don’t think it would mean that companies like ours, there won’t be space for us.

[00:15:41] Jason: Sure. Well, and I don’t wanna run you outta business, I’m just just think it’s

[00:15:46] Jacques: I mean,

[00:15:46] Jason: more of a philosophical question.

[00:15:48] Jacques: Well, by that time I don’t think I’ll be here if I’m being honest with you, you know, even if you could say like, this happens, I will not, you know, maybe my daughter will be here, that’s a different conversation, but I don’t think I’ll be here.

[00:15:59] Jason: Well, you’re, you’re still a relatively young man, but I understand progress takes a lot of time it’ll happen that, quickly. You know, and one thing you did mention people of color being the majority, of people in the United States. We’re on track for that to happen, I think within the next 10 or 15 years.

Now if you divide it up between, African Americans versus, you know, Hispanic, Latino, et cetera, obviously whites will still be the majority, but when you say white versus non-white, I believe we’re hit, we’re gonna hit 50% non-white. I think it’s by 2040, I believe is the year that they’re projecting that.

so it’s coming and I don’t necessarily think, I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all, I think that’s fantastic, so can’t wait. We’re talking with Jacque Bastien of Shade. When we come back, I want to dig into the pay gap in influencer marketing and what we can do to continue to close it, stay tuned. 

Back was Jacque Bastien, the CEO of Shade, it is an influencer marketing agency focused on creators of color, black and brown creators. So Jacque, about a year ago, a company called MSL which I think is a PR firm I believe, and the influencer league came out with a report that said influencers of color were paid 29% less than their white counterparts.

Black influencers specifically were at 35% less than white creators, and that was from a survey of creators. Then a couple months later, Isaiah does its state of the influencer equality report where it takes data from its influencer marketplace, which shows that whites are paid significantly less than influencers of color and have been for four or five years now.

Now these are two different data sets and we can certainly get into why one is very different than the other, but what are people to do with that conflicting information? And more importantly, what do we need to do to ensure that people don’t look at one set and say, oh, the problem solved, I don’t have to think about it anymore?

[00:17:56] Jacques: Yeah. Well, I can share my experience, we’re privileged to have been in this industry for about six years now, and so having run multiple campaigns, working with multiple creators we see it, and to be honest with you it’s twofolds. I’ll say this, I’ll start by saying it is not a hundred percent the fault of the brands, and I’ll explain that, but in my experience, the previous survey that says that, creators of color are paid less than white creators, that has been our experience overall, right? That has been my observation. 

But the reason that is, there are two reasons and I’ll go into, so, I’m not familiar with the Isaiah one, but I’m definitely gonna check it out, to see what it is about. Now I do know Isaiah is a platform, if I’m not mistaken, their campaigns are a little different from kind of the campaigns we run for those campaigns, they tend to be much lower offers overall. if you’re a brand, you’re paying them, 20, $50,000 a year, whichever, and then now you spent most of your money on the platform.

But then you tend to kind of, not to talk about the platform, but you’re sending low ball offers to folks, these are folks that are trying to get a thousand creators at $500 a pop, like that kind of thing. sure as the work we do tends to be focused on much higher level of creators, right? Where we’re talking about five figure jobs and six figures and the list goes on.

So I think that context is also relevant for the audience, cause I imagine that first study probably focus more on the more traditional campaigns that are a little higher versus the Isaiah ones, which are more that the smaller end one. So here’s my experience, biase still exists, we’re not gonna change that, right? 

And what I mean by that is there’s a book that I wrote, book is done, It’s never released it. It’s called the ROI of Diversity, and I’ll talk about this exact topic. Yeah, ROI of diversity, and the reason why this book was written was because I was in a presentation I was doing and, they loved it.

They said, man, I love your process, love everything, but I do have a question. Why black influences? Why brown influence? I mean, I get what you do, but what’s so special about a black influencer versus hiring a white influencer? Like in addition to, you know, your process is cool, but, what are we getting out of it?

And so I didn’t have an answer for them that day. I knew the answer, but I didn’t have it articulated. And so I went and spent eight months writing a book with that answer, right? And so I’ve had a lot of time to think about this kind of stuff, and the reality of it is like this, right? We are who we.

Just being honest with ourselves, we’re people that were raised in certain conditions and situations. I’m Haitian, my wife’s Jamaican, and it’s like if my wife’s father’s Jamaican, right? if my wife brought in myself and then a Jamaican guy to the household, there’s a high chance that her dad would have preferred the Jamaican guy, right? If we were very similar on like all levels,

[00:20:53] Jason: yep.

[00:20:54] Jacques: the only thing that makes us different is where we’re from, I’m Haitian, he’s Jamaican. Even if he had a little bit more flow than me, I imagine he would prefer the Jamaican guy, coz that’s like, that’s my people, right? That’s just how we’re wired as human beings.

So just from that alone, when you think about directors in these companies that are making these decisions, these final, we pitched them 2000, they want 5,000. I really want that person, let’s work for them, let’s do that, right? so just from that alone, you can kind of see how we get here. Now this is not even, this is just a human wiring thing, right? This is not even a racial thing, it’s just human wire, that’s why, I specifically mention my wife’s dad and but it applies everywhere, right? We prefer folks that look like us, act like us, are like us, that’s just naturally how we are. 

And so the solution, and this is what I propose in the book, is that it’s not even just about having people in the campaign, right? The diverse campaign has a lot of black influencers, but the better Campaign also has black directors making decisions on those black influencer.

but even better is the one that has a black you know, black person on the board of the company who is even, and so all the way through, but it’s not even just about a black thing, right? It’s also with women, right? If you have a company that sell product to women, you need women on the board. If you have a company that sell product to abled body and disabled folks, you need folks.

So you need people that represent each of these subgroups, making those decisions, and naturally, right? So going back to the same. If I’m, me just being honest, if I’m me and I’m in HR and I’m asked to hire somebody, and it’s between, a guy with dreadlocks and a white guy, there’s a higher chance if they’re perfect equally, like equally, they have the same stats.

Just being honest, I’ll probably, without even knowing why, be more attracted to the, guy with the locks because I’m like, yeah, he looks just like me, he has locks like me. So reversing that, now it’s easy to understand why there may be more of a certain type of people in certain roles. So the solution then is we need more the most diverse department in any business, I believe should be HR, right? 

After you look at the actual leadership, I think it should be HR, right? Where you have different people making those decisions because we’re human beings, we’re biased, that is what we are. So bringing it back home now to the original point of being overpaid and underpaid, I do think just from that simple math alone, you know, I said my wife’s dad would, you know, and by the way, he loves me, like I’m his favorite, but I’m just saying. he would probably even taken the Jamaican guy even with more, if he had more flaws than me, right? And that’s the key word here. And so going back to when you even hear instances of like, somebody will say, I have more follows than this individual, and I have more engagement, but yet they’re being paid more than me.

Well, for whatever reason, that person could have reminded them of their daughter, their, you know what I mean? So things like that. So to me, that is the first reason as to why I believe that first point. Here’s the other one though. So, I’ll actually, I’ll say three reasons. So I said the first one, the second reason goes to before Shade, right?

There were a lot of influencer management companies and talent managers, but they didn’t all look like Shade. Now, they do, a lot of them do. But before when we started out and we didn’t know what we were doing, we just knew this was needed, but we weren’t amazing talent managers, right? But If you think about the industry where most talent management companies saw more value in the creators that looked more like their team or reflected their team, then you knew that those white creators, they also had management.

They had a team helping them, like a proper team that knew what they were doing, helping them pitch and helping them price themselves. So just from that alone, the brand probably would’ve paid the black creator the same. There are instances like that, and this brings me my third point, why I say it’s not all the way the brand’s fault.

As an agency, we’re blown away by what we see. You know, we’ll present our creators with a brief, five pieces of content, TikTok reels, IG stories, three month white listing, this amount of this, that amount of that, they’ll say, this sounds great, I’m interested, my price for this is $1,500, right? And for context, It should be multiple five figures for that kind of offering, right?

And so there is a devaluing or not seeing the value in yourself happening, I believe, with a lot of the black and brown creators. So that’s where I say the second point of fault comes too, and you know, it could be many reasons. It could be maybe not seeing a lot of successful black creators It could be them not seeing other creators of color, not knowing how they’re conducting their business, so they don’t even know what to charge, right? It could be lack of education.

And this is why I said I love that there’s so much education available, so folks actually could know how to manage and present themselves if they wanted to. But overall, what we’ve seen is there are a lot of creators who don’t charge certain amounts of money, and as a result, you know, I believe we had a campaign we ran into, and I’ll say this publicly in order to, help our clients out. 

We’ve established a payment scale internally. And so what that means is when we pitch our campaigns, when we start negotiations we’ll establish a budget for micro, macro, mid, and all the tiers. So we have a set number that we set, and then we have a threshold we can go blowing over.

And so that means if we have a budget of $5,000 for a creator, The threshold lo, the lowest amount will go 3,500. If they come to us and say, oh, I could do this for a hundred dollars, we’ll say, sure, we’ll give you 3,500 and the same thing on the reverse, we’ll negotiate up to a certain point, but if it goes past 6,500, we’ll say thank you for your time ,I don’t think this will work out. 

And so that payment scale has allowed us to honestly sleep at night, man, because before establishing this, we realized like, man, we can’t be a part of this problem because we’re hired by the brand to just do the work. Which is fair, but two creators, one, for whatever reason, has education or whatever, decided to charge 5k one, decide to charge 500 for the same brief, and we said yes, because that’s what you do.

You know, hey, client, good news, right? But then I’m like, wait a second, we could have spent 10K, Now we have 4,500 we can give back to the client. But if news was to ever get out, for example, I could imagine one creator saying, and by the way this happened, and I, believe a creator, they didn’t, maybe they didn’t realize that we only work with black and brown creators, but those are creator who ended up coming back and saying, hey, I found out that somebody was paid a certain amount, and we had to remind her that, hey, just so you know, and this is a true story. You actually proposed $800, we bumped you up to 3,500. Literally it’s that scenario, but that person negotiated and they got the higher end of that piece. but that is a reality, now, as a result, we’ve changed that and you know, we make sure that folks are paid fair enough.

Let’s think about the company that is not shade, that doesn’t have a trouble with sleeping at night. Coz you know, if your client’s hiring you, you just do the work and keep it moving. So that’s another way you run into these issues, because if I’m managing a campaign with anybody, black, white, you know anyone, I’m just responding, right? Technically, maybe I’m willing as the brand and this is where I’m defending the brand here, maybe I’m willing to pay everybody whatever they want fairly ,right? If I have a white creator who just, for whatever reason, based on their background or whatever they felt like 10K, then another white creator that has a manager that goes and says, You know what, 15K, and then a black creator with a manager perhaps, and especially even if that manager’s black, white, whatever, maybe that person also came at 15K and they get it, but then there’s that solo independent creator that’s black that goes and say a thousand dollars.

[00:28:48] Jason: Yeah.

[00:28:49] Jacques: also you run into these issues where you can say, well, if I do the math these black creators were paid way less than these white creators, or these brown creators were paid way less than these white creators.

So to bring it all home, I think it’s twofold, right? One, it’s the, there’s the people thing, like we’re human beings, and that’s just unfortunately the truth of who we are. We have buy season, a lot of things, that we don’t intentionally mean, but unfortunately it does lead to situations like that. The second reason is if there’s ever a lack of education or the creator just doesn’t understand how to conduct business in that way, then they get the short end of the stick.

And so that’s why the next phase for us is we’re actually focusing on that education. We’re creating things now to make that available to creators, if they wanted to manage themselves, they at least have a sense of how much to charge, what to charge, how to negotiate, all that kind of stuff.

[00:29:38] Jason: Yeah, that’s, Well, that’s definitely a great benefit for the creators you work with. I know in one instance that I can think of in the last couple of years, I did have a creator come to me who priced out, you know, something very low. It happened to be an African American creator, and I went back to her and said, you’re not charging enough.

Like, I, you know, I’m gonna pay you X Because that’s the budget I had set aside for that, but I tried to do that with her as well. And certainly I don’t know that I would do that you know, for someone based on their race. I think if a white creator came to me and lowballed it, I said, hey you’re not charged enough based on what you’ve got.

Let me help you understand that a little bit better, but I’m glad that you’re doing it and I hope that even though it’s a little counterintuitive, because for brands and agencies out there who are trying to work with their clients’ budget and manage their money, it’s always good to get a great deal and save a little bit of money, but for the betterment of the creator and for this entire sort of thing,

[00:30:34] Jacques: Yeah.

[00:30:34] Jason: we need to see those problems and close that gap.

[00:30:37] Jacques: Yeah, no, for sure. And we do tell our clients, our brand partners this, and we found that they actually appreciate that about our services. They appreciate that essentially we got them covered on that end, right? And also too, there was a time where we had a campaign and we sent the client a report.

And we were, this is my wife and I, so we run on the agency, I probably should have said that earlier, so my wife and I run the company together, started it together. She’s our CMO and we were sending a client a final report of how much we spent per creator and blah, blah, blah, and we were just looking at this like, oh no, we’re not becoming this company. Even though it’s very excusable, you can understand how we got here and we did nothing wrong, we’re just reacting to everybody’s, we felt like we had to do something and so that’s why we created the payments skill and every client we were on board, we let them know, like, this is a part of our process.

We, as we negotiate, we negotiate down, but we also negotiate it up and the creators have loved it too, they’ve appreciated the fact that, you know, they, to that brand, now they get the sort of feel good vibe, it goes to them like, yeah, we’re the one presenting the news, but if you’re working with X, Y, and Z brand, and you know, we say this is our process, this is our whatever, so as a result, you’re gonna get paid more in their mind, they’re not gonna say, I work with Shade. They’re gonna say, I work with brand and brand paid me, I told brand price and brand said no two times price, right? So, there’s a very overall benefit even in that sense for the brands as well.

[00:32:08] Jason: Yeah. Good stuff, Jacq, tell folks where they can find you and shade on the inner webs?

[00:32:13] Jacques: Yeah, you can find shade @Shademgmt on Twitter as well as Instagram, and you can find me at Jacques H Bastien as Jacques H Bastien On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and all the places. Yeah,

[00:32:32] Jason: All the places.

[00:32:32] Jacques: Forgot my handles for a second.

[00:32:34] Jason: And let’s not forget shade.co. If you want to connect with Shade on the old website and see what they’ve got to offer. Jacques, appreciate the work you do and the time you spent with us today. Thanks for being here, man.

[00:32:45] Jacques: Thank you for having me, this was fun.

[00:32:55] Jason: An important conversation to have and keep having folks. Please put some stop gaps in your influence strategies to ensure that you are doing your part to make sure your brand, and more importantly, your audience are well represented in your efforts. We can all play a part in closing those pay opportunity gaps, plus ensuring the audience feels included in what we do.

On a similar note, I wanna make sure more people are included in what we do here on Winfluence. Tell someone who might want to know more about Influence Marketing about this podcast. Send them to winfluencepod.com or share a link to this episode on your social network of choice. If you have a moment, drop, Winfluence a rating or review on your favorite podcast app, we are on them all.

You can also help make a future episode of Winfluence Awesome, ask your question about influence or influence marketing that you want my answer to or take on. Send an email to jasonfalls.com if you’re feeling adventurous. Record a voice memo on your phone and email me that file, I’ll let you ask the question right here on the show using the recording.

Winfluence is a production of Falls and Partners, the technical production is by MPN Studios. Winfluence Airs along MPN, the Marketing Podcast Network. Thanks for listening folks, let’s talk again soon on Winfluence.

Winfluence, the Influence Marketing Podcast is an audio companion to my book Winfluence Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand. Get your copy online at winfluencebook.com. While you’re there, sign up for the latest ideas about influence marketing delivered in my periodic newsletter, or book me to speak to your company or organization about influence marketing.

And if you need help with your influence marketing strategy, drop me a line at [email protected] If you were someone you know as an influencer, a brand manager that uses influence marketing or one of the many amazing people working in the influence marketing services world, and they would make a good guest for the show, email me at [email protected]

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