Why The F*ck Is There Still A Pay Gap?

In Conversation With Charlotte Williams

With a $15B global projected value, influencer marketing isn’t exactly short changed, but a lot of creators are.

Our Senior Influencer Manager Beth sat down with Charlotte Williams, founder of SevenSix Agency who published a report on the pay gap for Black and SE Asian influencers.

Together they discussed how to break down barriers of low-balling, and reach pay equality in our industry. Here’s how it went down…

 

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How did your ‘Pricing Report’ come around?

In 2020 we sent out two surveys, to influencers and brands, about pricing.

We knew there was pricing disparity between white content creators and predominantly darker skinned Black and South Asian creators. We were seeing this daily, and we wanted data to back it up.

To influencers, we asked about fees, race, ethnicity, sex, and things like that. Then, to brands, we literally just asked them about pricing.

As industry players, how can we bridge the pay gap? Is there something in being completely transparent about campaign budgets? Or is there another way besides the obvious, paying influencers the same?

Well, I think that’s the answer. It’s recognising that this has happened historically and that it needs to change.

Plus, one of the biggest issues is the knowledge gap. That’s something that came up in the report, a lot of creators felt unsure about pricing because they simply didn’t have the experience.

And the sad truth is, until 2020, a lot of brands weren’t working with non-white creators. And if they were, it was a sprinkle of diversity onto their feed. As a result, there are so many fantastic creators who go unnoticed.

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We had a similar situation a few years ago… We outreached two Caucasians and one Asian influencer for a campaign. The Asian influencer’s fee came in a lot lower than her counterparts, so we jumped on a call and were like, “these are the prices that you should be charging”. As an agency, we felt it was the right thing to do.

Which isn’t common, and unfortunately, we must renegotiate for influencers that have been stung by agencies or brands that aren’t as forthcoming with pricing as you and I.

Going back to when you brought out the pricing report, have you seen a shift? Is it moving in the right way?

Definitely! We’ve had lots of brands and agencies use the pricing report, and we’re now updating it. We’re trying to find out more about the diversity and inclusion issue in the influencer space and then we’re going to create some new pricing suggestions.

If you’re new to the influencer world, the report is a great gauging tool. What do you think influencers should ask if they’re worried about that pay disparity?

I think before asking questions it’s so important to understand your worth. Then, when you pitch yourself to a brand or agency and they accept your fees, you know you’re being paid your rates.

But you have to know if that’s a good rate, so speak to other agencies, speak to a one-to-one consultancy, or join networks like SevenSix Influencer Network, where we talk about pay all the time. Or Creative Gal Gang, they’ve also done a report with Kitly.

I know transparency is super important to you as an agency as well, so we must start handholding creators through this, so we’re all on the same team.

There you have it! Being industry trailblazers doesn’t always mean bagging the biggest deals, though that does help, it’s also about using your experience to uplift beginners who don’t know no better! If you want to chat with one of the team about how to go about influencer marketing the right way, hit up info@seenconnects.com.

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