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Creators of color and women are using these Slack groups to get paid brand deals, network, and grow their businesses

Creators of color and women are using these Slack groups to get paid brand deals, network, and grow their businesses
  • Slack has become a popular platform for creators, influencer marketers, and talent managers.

  • Some communities were built based on a need to create a space for specific demographics.

  • Creators highlighted four Slack groups for people of color and women in the creator economy.

For creators and influencers, working online means it's not always easy to build community.

Recently, the workplace-messaging app Slack has surged in popularity as a forum for influencer marketers, brand representatives, talent managers, and influencers to connect. They say the platform is easy to use, that it offers a direct line of communication between users, and that users are generous with their knowledge.

For some organizers, the need to start creator-economy-focused communities stemmed from the personal frustrations they faced as women or people of color trying to navigate the industry. They created Slack workspaces to address issues such as pay disparity, share specific ways to reach out to brands, and debrief or vent about less-than-savory situations, such as late payments.

Morgan Gadley, a TikTok creator, started the Slack workspace OohhMG in early January because she wanted other creators of color to access the brand-deal opportunities constantly flooding her inbox. Two months in, the community has almost 400 members.

"For Black and brown creators, we have specific challenges out there when it comes to being an influencer," she told Business Insider. "I wanted creators to have a safe space to let the load off and vent a little bit about their challenges."

Meanwhile, several users of Jessy Grossman's Women in Influencer Marketing, or WIIM, Slack — exclusively made up of women — told BI the group has helped them make useful connections; marketers use the workspace to recruit talent for campaigns, while influencers reach out to ask about opportunities or seek advice from more seasoned creators.

"People respond so, so quickly when you're on there, and that's usually not the case on other apps," Lissette Calveiro, a creator and the founder of the talent agency Influence With Impact, previously told BI. "It's so collaborative, and I've seen a huge return on investment because it's such a great network."

Here are four Slack workspaces helping women and creators of diverse backgrounds build their brands, as well as three other groups for influencers.

The Creator Collective primarily caters to micro influencers of color

Florence Howard, an Instagram creator, started the workspace in August 2022 to help more Black and brown micro influencers figure out their career paths and land more long-term paid opportunities.

"There aren't enough people trying to collectively help creators of color, it can be really lonely," she said. "My membership really lifts the veil for them and gives them the resources to feel confident."

There are 80 creators in the group, the majority of whom come from diverse backgrounds. Its 16 channels include free resources, paid partnership opportunities that are updated weekly, an email database, networking, and a space for venting.

Two creators said The Creator Collective recently helped them land a spot in the Paula's Choice "On the Rise" program for Black creators, and a few applied and were accepted to the Target program and the Walmart program because of postings they saw.

Membership to the community costs $47 a month, and Shaakira Molisho, a member, said it's worth it.

"I instantly made back the investment that I put into it, about a week after I joined when I landed a brand deal and was flown out to New York," the creator said. "What I really value about it, though, is how it's such a safe space for people like me. There are very few places where people can talk openly about discrimination or bad experiences they've had with brands, and this is one of them."

OohhMG is free, but paid members can access exclusive workshops

Gadley said she started the workspace to address the questions she got from creators about how to land brand deals similar to the ones she'd negotiated. She first posted about the Slack group on LinkedIn, then invited talent managers, publicists, and other people she knew regularly tried to find diverse influencer talent for specific campaigns or projects. After that, she started introducing creators of color with smaller followings into the group.

"We want to put people in the position to get booked more," she said. "Creators who aren't very big usually have trouble getting talent recruiters to notice them, so this gets them on the radar."

The workspace is free for its almost 400 members and has a VIP channel for creators who want more detailed information about how to build financially lucrative online businesses. For $37, these members get exclusive access to virtual workshops on different topics; in March, a travel workshop will focus on how to get paid to travel, such as pitching hotels or negotiating better travel terms in contracts.

Several users say WIIM can help make new connections

This Slack space was originally formed for women who work in influencer marketing, but Grossman said she's seen more creators request to join. The WIIM group charges membership fees of $41 a month or $588 a year.

"There's this one-to-one direct chat environment where I've seen people actually form really meaningful relationships," Grossman said.

Calveiro primarily uses the channel for creator and marketing connections. She first started using the group when she was the director of influencer marketing at the advertising company Ogilvy, and now as a talent-firm founder who wants to keep on top of trends.

"I had an influencer who really wanted to work with a certain brand, and I just asked in the channel and immediately got the contact info for the person in charge," she said.

Products by Women can help those from marginalized communities advance their tech careers

This workspace is the Slack iteration of a community Naimeesha Murthy, a product-management leader who immigrated to the US from India, founded in 2019. After almost a decade of tech work, she created Products by Women to help other women from marginalized communities advance in their tech careers and learn leadership-position skills.

The Slack channel has almost 3,000 members and is free to join. The community also organizes meetups and events and has a blog that publishes stories of successful women in entrepreneurship.

Other Slack groups for influencers

Here are three other Slack groups that influencers told BI have helped them make industry connections or land deals:

  • Limited Supply, for e-commerce and direct-to-consumer conversations

  • Startup CPG, for connecting with consumer brands

  • Adolescent Storyteller Network, for Gen Z creatives

Read the original article on Business Insider