Director of Marketing Content at GRIN
Diversity in influencer marketing
In this episode:
Johanna B. Voss is a talent manager for social media influencers who want to scale their brands, grow their businesses, build net worth, and plan strategically for the future. She’s closed over $3M worth of brand deals, partnerships, and speaking engagements for her clients. Johanna’s influencers partner with brands like Kroger, Walmart, AARP, Little Northern Bakehouse, H&R Block, and ALDI.
Before talent management, Johanna worked on the presidential campaigns for Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. She is a world traveler who’s lived in Spain and loves cycling Colorado’s mountain ranges. Follow her many adventures on Instagram @johannavoss.
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Full episode details
Diversity and inclusion requires brands to take a closer look at how they partner with influencers of color
Today’s social media creators function as prolific videographers, photographers, bloggers, and artists. Influencer marketing allows thousands of everyday people from every background to do the work of full production companies and in-house creative teams.
But some brands get so busy meeting marketing objectives that they fail to see that these creators are real people with remarkable vision and talent. That’s why agents like Johanna Voss exist—to advocate for influencers of color and help them build long-term, sustainable relationships with the right brands.
“Companies had to look inward about their board of directors, and you know, how much they actually integrate diversity when choosing talent and paying across the board. And I was thinking, ‘Okay, well, what’s my role? How can I help? How can I do something better?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, well, I can only recommend influencers of color. Full stop. That is it.’ And so whenever brands are reaching out and sourcing names for me, I only send influencers of color.’” – Johanna Voss
Breakdown of the GRIN Gets Real Podcast Episode ##
Much like the rest of the world, the influencer marketing industry is learning how to value all people groups equally and recognize talent, regardless of race or orientation. Thanks to bold creators and agents like Johanna, brands are incorporating a more inclusive approach to influencer recruiting.
“Brands have divided up their audience by race. And you have the general market and the Latino market. So we’re gonna hire a Latino creator because they’re going to do the content in Spanish. But then when you step back, you’re like, ‘So then by default, what’s the general market?’ Well, general market, it’s White people who are English speakers.” – Johanna Voss
In this episode, Johanna describes the day-to-day of creator talent management, particularly in a world still struggling with racial and gender equality. She breaks down:
- Which creators need talent managers.
- How managers build relationships with brands.
- When brands can take additional steps toward diversity.
- What diversity in influencer marketing is.
- And so much more!
Quotes From This Episode
“I have eight clients that I represent right now. Seven of them are women of color. I mean, there’s always the token non-White person for sure that brands want year round. There’s also when brands come a knockin’ for, ‘Oh, it’s African American Month in February,’ or ‘It’s Hispanic Heritage Month,’ and, ‘Hey, we’d love to celebrate your voice and your heritage… but just for these four months, and then we’re gonna go back to not celebrating Latinos and pretend like they’re not part of our customer base.’ So that’s what we run into is just feeling like, ‘Oh, you’re just doing this to check a box?’”
“A brand is going to celebrate Latino voices. ‘Here’s what we want from them x, y, & z,’ and the pay was dismal. Simultaneously you’re talking about valuing the voice, but you’re offering $400? With some crazy scope of work and a quick turnaround? I will now say, ‘This is insulting. The irony is that you’re asking for it, but at the same time, your actions are not living up to what you want, you are taking advantage of my client.’ I will now write a professional email pushing back and mentioning why my clients say no and why the brand needs to reconsider and put a better budget behind it.”
“There needs to be diverse voices sitting around the table when campaigns are being created, when briefs are being made, when ideas are happening and being hatched.”
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