There’s no doubt that the environment around influencer marketing and race, culture and diversity has undergone an incredible amount of change in the last two years. While the issues of pay gaps and brands ignoring influencers of color have always been present in the industry, the combination of social unrest in the United States and other countries, the Black Lives Matter movement, and a more vocal and present conversation around closing the racial pay gap have amplified the issues.

In the course of my work with brands and content creators in the last two years, I’ve tried to be very intentional about listening, learning and advocating to ensure that at least my little corner of the influencer marketing world moves forward with more intention. In that work, I ran across Johanna Voss, a talent manager who represents an unusually high number of influencers of color in her work.

Johanna Voss on Winfluence

In fact, Johanna has a client that I have engaged for one of our clients at Cornett. So, we actively work together on a brand campaign right now. It’s that up-close and personal interaction that beckoned me to invite her on the show to talk about influencers and race.

Now, you should know, Johanna is not a person of color. So, ironically, this conversation about race is going to be between two people who do not have the first-hand experience of being a person of color. But our conversation is quite revealing I think about how brands think of influencers of color, the disparities in brand and agency approaches when looking to them versus those creators who are white, and the nuances of managing influencers and influence programs in the Hispanic or LatinX community.

Needless to say, we as brands, agencies, talent managers and creators still have a long way to go. My hope is this conversation continues our communal learning and wisdom to one day find ourselves in a place where race and culture are embraced and celebrated by all, not separated or singled out with different priorities in budget and beyond.

And there are some glimmers of hope in here, too. There have been some interesting steps of progress made thanks to the always on nature of activism and awareness of the issues. Do listen closely for those, too. 

This is an important conversation. Because Johanna’s roster of talent features a much higher number of Latina influencers, we focus a bit more of the Hispanic version of people of color and not as exclusively on the Black community. We’ll continue to have those conversations here with those who bring more depth in their perspective, I assure you. 

But this segment of the greater conversation we’re having about influencers and race on Winfluence is one I think you’ll find enlightening. regardless of your race, background or perspective.

We have a new sponsor to the show. I’ve been testing TrendHERO for the last week. It’s a new but advanced influencer marketing software platform specific to Instagram. TrendHERO can help you search and discover Instagrammers based on a wide range of filters, from nano influencers, all the way to celebrities. There are over 90 million profiles in their database. 

The feature I like most is its advanced fake followers check. They also have an algorithm that tells you how real the comments are on a given Instagrammer’s content. So if you’re in a vertical that might be susceptible to comment pods and fake followers, TrendHERO can help you suss out which Instagrammers are worth it and which aren’t.

The great thing about TrendHERO is they’re giving you a 14-day free trial just for listening to Winfluence! And if you decide you want to use the platform after that, the lite plan is just $15.99 per month. 

Sign up for that free trial now at

Other Influencer Marketing Podcasts of note …

Winfluence - Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand

Order Winfluence now!

Winfluence – Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand is available now in paperback, Kindle/eBook and audio book formats. Get it in the medium of your choice on Amazon or get a special discount on the paperback version of the book by clicking the button below, buying on the Entrepreneur Press bookstore and using the discount code FALLS20. That earns you 20% off the retail price. Read and learn why we’ve been backed into a corner to think influencer marketing means Instagram and YouTube and how reframing it to be “influence” marketing makes us smarter marketers.

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