The Carters are music royalty. Every move they make is calculated, and there’s a lot we can learn from how they run their business. Their latest project, “Everything Is Love” is full of branding gems that can help you grow as an influencer.
Here’s five that come to mind:
1. Leverage your authenticity
“Extra magazine hopped on a jet with my Ebony chick. Blacker than the Essence Fest” – Jay Z on The Black Effect
We were proud to see various shades of melanin take over The Lourve Museum in Paris in the ‘Apeshit’ video. But after listening to the whole album, it’s clear that The Carters are unapologetically black.
With cultural appropriation running rampant, it’s important for black and brown creators to own their narrative. Other races shouldn’t profit off of what makes us who we are. Take pride in your culture and weave it into your branding as an influencer, so you can monetize your authenticity like The Carters.
2. Know your worth
“I said no to the Super Bowl, you need me, I don’t need you.” – Jay Z on Ape Shit
Jay pushed the culture forward by turning down the invitation to perform at the Super Bowl. He didn’t sacrifice his dignity and the work of everyone trying to change the racial injustices in America for money.
His decision shows that if partnering with a company goes against your morals, the opportunity isn’t for you. Without clear values, you’ll underestimate your worth when working with brands.
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3. Numbers don’t mean everything
“If I gave two f*cks about streaming numbers, I would have put Lemonade up on Spotify” – Beyonce on Nice
Bey wasn’t focused on pushing ‘Lemonade’ on every platform. She knew it was a work of art, so she treated it as such.
Metrics matter to brands. Your engagement rate, impressions, following, email list, etc. helps quantify your worth, but there’s a lot that shapes your influence. Talent, content quality, personality among other things are taken into consideration when working on campaigns. It’s important to intentionally grow your reach, but remember that brands are looking at your whole package.
4. Build your legacy
“My great-great-grandchildren already rich. That’s a lot of brown chi’r’en on your Forbes list” – Beyonce on Boss
Bey and Jay have put in 20+ years in the industry to get the level of success that they have. The legacy that they’re leaving for their children and the impact they’re making in the world fuels them to keep pushing.
The branding that you do now will impact generations to come. Keep that in mind when you’re tired or considering giving up. You have to remember your why.
5. Take risks and bet on yourself
“What would you do, you knew you couldn’t fail? I have no fear of anything, do everything well.” – Jay Z on Nice
From starting a streaming service to dropping albums without traditional marketing, The Carters have proven to be more than musicians — they’re true artists who believe in their craft and the importance of doing things differently. They understand branding.
Taking risks is at the center of innovation. It’s impossible to make an impact if you always follow the status quo. As an influencer, you have the freedom to be creative and experiment on your own terms. Own it!