High Profile Conversations Curated by Lizzy Jeff at A3C Festival
Photo by Jaylon Smith
Last week, the A3C Festival + Conference hosted thousands of artists, fans and industry executives in the true spirit of community. A3C made special note to highlight women in hip-hop with an all female indoor stage presented by Toyota featuring some of the most talented female artists on the rise. Keeping that same energy, our team at Intecoo took the opportunity to create a space for candid conversations about hip-hop, cannabis and the power of women in the industry w/ High Profile.
Meet Lizzy Jeff…the medicine woman.
The L.A. based “Neo-Hippie” is diversifying the cannabis landscape with her empowering and lifestyle approach to its culture.
Named “Queen of the Cannabis Renaissance” by L.A. Weekly, Lizzy Jeff is carving a space of experience + education for minorities in the industry.
Despite the acceptance around cannabis pivoting over the last decade, there are still thousands of people of color behind bars due to marijuana charges.
Lizzy Jeff is using her voice and platform to elevate dialogue around healing through cannabis.
Working in a dispensary and attending many industry events, she realized the lack of diversity within this realm and was inspired to tell her own story.
From providing education about plant-based health to social activations surrounding self-care and healing, Lizzy is dedicated pushing the culture forward by infusing spirituality into the mainstream cannabis space.
She spreads her good vibes through inspiring poetic raps, and is known for creating the highest vibe through her mindfully curated experience called Zen & Kush in L.A.
“I realized how important it was to share my medicine so, I created something different, something that could uplift and inspire the people. That’s when Zen & Kush was birthed,” she says.
How To Use Your Influence To Drive Music Discovery
Photo by Capital XTRA
Music connects the world.
Whether or not you are an artist, there is power in leveraging music to grow your influence. These mutually beneficial partnerships can help you reach new audiences through people’s shared love of music.
This weekend I’ll be diving into this topic at the A3C Festival & Conference in Atlanta, an event that engages and inspires the artists, entrepreneurs, and creatives that shape hip-hop culture.
Here are three takeaways from my session about tapping into music to boost your content:
Maximize the 3 P’s — Produce. Publish. Profit
These three P’s are the framework to monetizing your influence on social media.
Produce your best content in the form of your choice – whether it’s video, image, text or audio.
Publishthat content on the right platform to reach your target audience. It may be on a podcast, YouTube video, Instagram or a variety of channels, but it’s important to strategically think through where you are, why you’re there, and who you’re trying to influence.
Profit by backing up your dope creative content with data to quantify your influence to brands. After consistently producing and publishing content, track your analytics to determine if you’ve received more engagement, followers, subscribers or sales. Use your metrics to show your value and why you should be considered for paid opportunities.
Ella Mai reached mainstream success by applying the three P’s to her brand. She produced music cover videos on Instagram consistently, and one was re- published by The Shade Room. Her content got the attention of DJ Mustard who sent a direct message inviting her to a studio session and signed her to his record label. She profited from consistently sharing her gifts and leveraging her influence.
The three P’s are key!
Crowdsource your influence
Challenges create viral content because they encourage crowd participation. At the heart of social media is community, and people want to share content of themselves being a part of it.
The #InMyFeelingsChallenge was the brainchild of internet comedian, Shiggy. Founder of ‘The Shiggy Show’, Shiggy became popular thanks to his hilarious dance videos, impressions and rants.
He built his platform and crowdsourced his influence by getting others involved in the challenge. His community expanded to the world as thousands of people joined in, including O’dell Beckham and Instagram King Will Smith. Everyone couldn’t stop singing or hearing Drake’s catchy song thanks to Shiggy.
The #InMyFeelingsChallenge was a great intersection of music and comedy. Every challenge doesn’t take off, but those that make everyone want to be a part of them is often tied by music (#InMyFeelingChallenge, #MannequinChallenge, #RunningManChallenge).
Have fun with social media and participate in the challenge to be a part of the online buzz. You may also reach new people by using the hashtag.
Leverage untraditional partnerships
Break the normalcy of music by thinking of how to mix different worlds. E-sports and gaming platforms can add non-copyrighted music to the background of their YouTube videos to make their content more unique. Beauty influencers can use non-copyrighted music in their time-lapsed YouTube videos to show their brand personality.
Music is an underutilized way for influencers to expand their audience and diversify their content. Sign up for our email list for more keys to elevate your brand.
Many celebrities appear to be perfect, but artists like J.Cole reaffirm the beauty in our imperfections. Through his music, he reminds us that we’re all human, and authenticity and transparency gives us an opportunity to grow and truly connect with other people.
An overarching theme in Cole’s music is to use his pain for a purpose. From his mother’s battle with drug addiction to infidelity to poverty – he openly talks about the highs and lows of life.
Cole’s vulnerability and authenticity inspire his fans to share more of themselves with the world. He shows us that we are not defined by our pain – it shapes who we are and helps us relate to others.
Here are three lessons from J.Cole’s music that’ll remind you to be authentic as you build your brand:
Stay true to yourself
“How come you won’t get a few features? / I think you should? How ’bout I don’t?” – KOD
J.Cole’s third album “2014 Forest Hills Drive” went platinum without any features, but people still encourage him to broaden his approach. Cole takes pride in owning every aspect of his music and he doesn’t give in to the pressure to feature other artists on his projects.
Like Cole, trust your intuition and move at your own pace. Authenticity means holding onto your values and beliefs. The trend in the industry may be to create a digital course or podcast to monetize your brand, but that may not be for you in this season. It’s ok to have an open mind to feedback from other people but stay focused on what you believe in and what matters most to you.
Embrace your imperfections
“I keep my twisted grill, just to show the kids it’s real / We ain’t picture perfect, but we worth the picture still.” – Crooked Smile
Despite his imperfect teeth, Cole was able to surpass the level of success he envisioned for himself. He reminds us that no one is perfect and everyone has their own “crooked smile” to live with.
As an influencer, you can use your imperfections to your advantage by being transparent about your journey. Openly talk about your struggles and how you’re getting through the adversity. Every post doesn’t have to seem like life is perfect — let people see the real, raw you sometimes. Through vulnerability, you build community and control your own narrative.
Appreciate your journey
“Don’t be sleepin’ on your level because its beauty in the struggle” – Love Yourz
Growing up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Cole watched his mother deal with addiction and heartbreak. He moved to New York for college, and his first job was working as a telemarketer. It took years for him to get a record deal and grow his fan base, but all of his hard work paid off.
As you continue to build your brand, enjoy your unique journey. In every life stage, there are lessons that you need to learn to prepare you for the next level and if you’re so focused on getting there, you’ll miss the beauty of the now.
The glow up is sweeter when you acknowledge the darkness that helped bring out your light.
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:
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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!
Photo by The Carters
IT’S ALL LOVE!
Connect with other black and brown content creators from all over. Inside we’re sharing opportunities, tackling topics and supporting one another’s work.