If you want to flourish in social media, it’s important to realize audiences are not monolithic. There’s no one size fits all approach for viewers—especially in a world as hyper-focused as social media. Since the dawn of social media, Black creators have been at the forefront of this philosophy. From the earliest days of Myspace to the founding of Black Twitter and their continuing leadership in developing new trends on TikTok, Black creators have pioneered the world of social media.
However, being influential in your content is just the beginning. Today we’re spotlighting six Black creators who aren’t just at the forefront of their success but who are making sure other people can flourish after them. From groundbreaking LinkedIn entrepreneurs to the queen of mommy-sphere social media, each of these creators is here to help.
Here’s who you need to know to level up your content this year.
Travel teacher Gabby Beckford (@packslight)
For creators who want to see the world, Gabby Beckford will both entertain and inspire you. This Gen Z icon has been featured in everything from the New York Times to Cosmopolitan in her quest to show others how obtainable travel can be. Beckford is an evangelist for remote work, even selling a handy guide to help others discover the joy of traveling while holding a day job.
In high school, Beckford wrote a letter to herself saying, “I don’t really care what my job is. All I want is to make $100,000 a year, be happy… and be able to travel wherever I want whenever I want!” Eleven years later she’s helping make that a dream come true for others. Not just through her amazing TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter content or by selling multiple eBooks, but also as a co-founder of the Black Travel Alliance.
The Black Travel Alliance looks to amplify the Black authors, bloggers, journalists, podcasters, and influencers who help show those travelers on where to adventure next. Additionally, the alliance works to make sure Black people are accurately represented in the travel industry at all levels. With so much money flowing from the Black community to the travel world, the alliance makes sure the economic benefits aren’t one-sided.
But Beckford is just getting started. In 2022, she was awarded LinkedIn’s Top Voice: NextGen for her marketing leadership with Gen Z and in the field of remote work. She has cultivated over 493,000 followers on TikTok, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Still, in her mid-20s, the influencer’s journey is one you should keep following.
Branding wizard Nicky Saunders (@thisisnickys)
Nicky Saunders is an example of old-school perseverance and modern social media moxie coalescing into brilliance. After leaving the Navy, Saunders became a member of motivational speaker Eric Thomas’ online Breath University. Her work through the community—which describes itself as an “entrepreneurship think-tank”—eventually led to a position with his online team and then control of Thomas’ social media. Saunders reports on LinkedIn she took Thomas’ followers from 300,000 to 2 million in only a year and a half.
Now the self-appointed Voice of Content Branding, Saunders built a following of over 114,000 strong and growing on Instagram and 24,400 on TikTok. Her company, Beastmode Digital, helps creators grow their followings with the same methods she used for Thomas. From graphic design to content creation, it crafts creator ideas into a consistent social media voice.
Of course, you don’t need to do business with Nicky Saunders to learn from Nicky Saunders. Each week the Nicky and Moose Podcast with co-host Mostafa Ghonim delivers breakdowns of personal brands to discover how they were built from the ground up. Recent episodes covered an army vet who went from making $7 per month to $500,000 per month on a health business, how to future-proof your brand as a creator, and how to collaborate with other creators. Even if you’re just looking to build a business offline, Nicky and Moose are a solid investment of your time.
Mompreneur Christine K. St.Vil (@MomsNCharge)
Navigating social media is a stressful business for anyone. But moms and parents face the added challenge of building a following while raising children. From the safety of their kids’ online presence to moderation to content creation, it’s a lot to take in.
Christine K. St.Vil specializes in helping solo creators and mother content creators alike. In 2012, St. Vil founded MomsNCharge, an online resource for mothers looking to reclaim and love themselves while building success. This led to the launch of Social Scoop, a consulting firm that helps “mompreneurs” of color build a following in the world of social media safely.
Drawing from 10 years of social media experience; insight from an audience of over 26,000 Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter followers; and her own business experience, St. Vil is here to break down the gates of social media success for moms around the world.
Affiliate guru Liyah Nicole (@_aliyahnicoleb)
Specializing in the creator economy space, TikTok influencer Liyah Nicole built her own business through the Walmart creator program and Amazon Influencer Program. If you’ve ever considered dabbing in affiliate storefronts, Nicole is the guide you’ve been looking for. But beyond showing you how to sell things online, her educational content can teach you how to sell yourself.
Take her video commenting on the current conversation around “niching down” for example. Nicole explains the reasoning behind why creators are encouraging each other to keep their niches’ narrow to focus their audience. However, in her eyes, the trend misses the fact that creators should be in their own niche. In other words, your genre isn’t your niche—you and the content you create are.
Nicole’s outreach goes beyond advice and her own brand. She also uses her platform to help find and elevate black creators with hashtags like #blackgirltiktok #blackcreators. If you feel called to TikTok but don’t know how to build it into a business, turn to Liyah Nicole.
Twitch leader Kiwi (@KiwiOnTheSticks)
Too many content creators say “my life is an open book” but gloss over the details. That’s why Kiwi On The Sticks has quickly become one of our favorite voices on Twitch. Offering her 17.2K followers a variety show on camera, Kiwi has built an audience on authenticity and personality. For the layman, Kiwi On The Sticks gives a window into the diversity of creativity required to build a following online.
If you want to learn how to keep an audience engaged, Kiwi On The Sticks is a treat. Some days, her stream focuses on gaming, particularly brightly colored RPGs like Kingdom Hearts or Mario titles. However, rather than myopically focusing on one genre of Twitch streaming, Kiwi keeps things fresh by sharing their other interests. There are makeup tutorials and cooking videos. She takes viewers on outings and holds unboxing videos for her mail.
This year, Kiwi also stood out for providing some incredible tax and financial advice on Twitter, receiving over 1.4 million views. Content creators start as passionate people with something to say. Taxes can be a part of life or a monster on your back. Kiwi On The Sticks provides the tools to keep the monster at bay while your business flourishes.
It’s this down-to-earth openness, along with her amazing content, that brings her views back no matter what content she’s creating. Whether helping you survive tax season or playing Mario Kart, Kiwi On The Sticks deserves your attention.
Experimental entrepreneur Quentin Michael Allums (@quentinmallums)
Failure is often our work telling us success lies in another direction, and Quentin Michael Allums is a case study in perseverance. Allums owns his failures as much as his successes, constantly testing and experimenting with new formats and challenges, providing a grounding resource in an industry where success is all that is talked about.
He’s experienced it all: failed businesses, sleeping on the floor, utilities getting cut off. But those defeats were steps toward success he built himself. From his early roots as one of LinkedIn’s first video creators in the 2010s, Allums has spread the gospel of entrepreneurial success. His journey led him to consult for major clients like Jordan Harbinger, Jackie Hermes, Lewis Howes, Shay Rowbottom, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Heineken, and many more.
Beyond his consulting business and podcast, Allums is giving back to the creator community on social media. Although he’s on a brief social media hiatus, you can soak up his wisdom by scrolling through his content as part of his 59,000 TikTok followers or 76,000 LinkedIn followers. We look forward to seeing what he does next.