As the Head of Creative Diversity at News UK, Shelley Bishton is familiar with the exclusion of ethnic minorities in the media industry. In her efforts to drive change, Bishton has created The Cultural Diversity Network. The first network for ethnic minority individuals, including Black women. Bishton has made it her mission to inspire Black women to demand equality in their everyday businesses and lives.
Bishton’s work focuses on diversity in the media and luxury industry. However, her findings remain relevant for any industry sector. She had personally experienced daily microaggression based on assumptions made of her skills and experience as a Black woman. Therefore, she advises making self-care your priority when you are navigating your business presence onto the market. Caring for yourself is an act of self-preservation that will keep your mind strong and healthy.
One of the toughest truths that Black female entrepreneurs face is the disparity in professional credibility based on ethnicity. Running a small business can be tough as your credibility and professional perception can affect your customer base. However, you can find paths that will help you open the path to market more confidently.
Monetize valuable content
Your social media content can pave the way to market, promoting visibility and engagement. As a result, you want to prioritise valuable, useful, and top-quality content. A digital marketing consultant could utilise social media platforms to share strategic templates that can guide your followers through the steps of data interpretation, or strategy planning, for example. A fitness coach can provide free fitness self-assessment tests on Facebook. The bottom line: The more you generate quality content, the more followers forget about discriminatory ethnic preconceptions. They finally get to judge you for your content. It’s worth mentioning as well that you can re-purpose valuable posts to monetize Facebook page content for business purposes. Valuable content can drive follower volume, which in turn can turn into monetary value. It’s a nice little boost if you want to finance advertising for your content in the longer term.
Tap into video trends
More often than not, creating confidence in your audience is a complex process for Black entrepreneurs. Depending on your industry sector, your audience may need more convincing because, as Bishton puts it in her interview, people make the wrong assumption based on your ethnicity. However, some digital platforms are more welcoming than others to ethnic minorities. These can be an excellent launching platform to gather momentum and positive visibility. TikTok has a strong focus on introducing diversity at the heart of the content, with programmes such as TikTok for Black Creatives. The programme is designed to nurture and develop talented creators within the Black community. It is likely that further actions will be taken in the future to support the Black creative community on TikTok. Similarly, Youtube also has a strong Black influencers’ community, despite the absence of targeted programmes. With names such as Nyma Tang (beauty vlogger) and MsDomination (gaming vlogger), there is a huge potential for channel growth and brand awareness.
Social media channels offer a unique approach to make your voice heard and respected in a business environment that presents too many ethnic obstacles. Unlike B2B platforms, social media channels benefit from a global sense of community, encouraging ethnic barriers to come down and disappear as more and more content is shared online.