IZEA Releases The 2023 State of Influencer Equality

IZEA Releases The 2023 State of Influencer Equality

IZEA Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: IZEA), the premier provider of influencer marketing technology, data, and services for the world’s leading brands, ​​released its third annual The State of Influencer Equality report today. The report found that the average payment per post for non-white influencers continues to trend upward. Hispanic influencers’ pay climbed by 29%, Asian influencers’ pay rose by 23% year over year, and Black influencers’ pay increased by 19%. The rate of deals being awarded to minorities has surpassed their representation in the population, reaching a new peak of 46% share of sponsorship transactions.

First introduced in 2020, the report analyzes influencer earnings observed in IZEA’s online marketplace from 2015 to 2022. The data comprises negotiated rates between marketers and creators spanning the spectrum of micro-influencers to celebrities across all social platforms, including self-reported sex and racial identifiers.

“IZEA is dedicated to championing creators of all backgrounds and demographics, driving the influencer marketing sector toward fairness and inclusivity,” said Ted Murphy, IZEA Founder and CEO. “We’re delighted to see a steady growth in pay for non-white influencers within the IZEA ecosystem, indicating that our efforts are paying off for creators. The pay gap between male and female influencers has continued to reduce to its lowest point of 17% since we began tracking this data.”

Key Findings Include: 

  • Over the past eight years, average earnings have dramatically risen for influencers of all races and sexes.
  • Over the past five years, persons of color have commanded a premium over their white counterparts, with Asian Americans making an average of 50% more per post than white creators in 2022.
  • Female influencers continue to dominate influencer marketing with 77% of all transaction volume in 2022, but their share of deal flow is the lowest since our reporting began in 2015.
  • Despite influencers 65 and older commanding the highest premium of all age groups in 2021, adults 55-64 have seen their earnings surge 144%, making them the highest-earning influencer age group in 2022.
  • Influencers ages 55-64 make $1 more on average than influencers ages 18-24.
  • Influencers with an annual household income of $150,000 or more charge an average of 3.1 times more for a sponsored post than creators earning $50,000 or less per year.
  • The percentage of influencer marketing deal flow going to minority influencers (46%) has surpassed their representation in the U.S. population (41%).
  • For the second year in a row, the percentage of influencer marketing deal flow going to white (non-Hispanic) influencers (54%) has slipped below their share of the U.S. population (59%).

2015-2022 Sponsored Post Price Increase by Race: 

  • Sponsored post prices charged by Asian American influencers have surged 3,532% from $101 to $3,668 on average.
  • Sponsored post prices charged by Black influencers have climbed 2,258% from $129 to $3,042 on average.
  • Sponsored post prices charged by Hispanic influencers have hiked 1,788% from $146 to $2,757 on average.
  • Sponsored post prices charged by white influencers have increased 1,717% from $135 to $2,453 on average.

Male and Female Influencer Pay Gap 
Since 2019, the pay gap between male and female influencers has narrowed, hitting an all-time low in 2022. In 2019, the pay gap was 62% before narrowing to 27% in 2020, 26% in 2021 and 17% in 2022.

Although female influencers continue to own the majority of influencer marketing deal flow, male influencers’ share of transaction volume rebounded from an all-time low in 2020 of 9% to all-time highs of 15% in 2021 and 21% in 2022.

2015-2022 Sponsored Post Price Increases by Sex: 

  • Sponsored post prices charged by male influencers have risen 980% from $290 to $3,131 on average.
  • Sponsored post prices charged by female influencers have climbed 1,755% from $143 to $2,652 on average.

Get the full report here: 

“The shifts in influencer marketing toward greater diversity, equity and inclusion are great examples of marketers recognizing – and responding to – the significant impact of minority influence in society,” Murphy continued. “In 2015, only 27% of sponsorship deals went to minority influencers, but today, this number has grown to 46%, a 70% increase. Even with these successes, there remains much more to be done in order to make sure all sexes and racial identities are represented in influencer marketing campaigns.”

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'Honey it will get better'

‘Honey it will get better’

This TikToker resonated with audiences after posting a candid and emotional video on the digital platform.

Beth Anne Brice (@bethannebrice), a college student and influencer with 1 million followers, shared a 58-second video describing how her day doesn’t go as planned.

“Like, I am OK. Like, I’m also on the verge of not being OK,” she begins.

Beth goes on to describe what happened.

“I was gonna go to this Pilates class at 4, and it was a 50-minute class. So from 4 to 4:50. Fire. Then I’m going to babysitting at 5:30. Perfect, I can even pick up Chipotle on the way,” she says.

Traffic, however, derailed her schedule. As a result, she didn’t make it to her Pilates class.

“I didn’t make it to my 4 p.m. class. Well, I took pre-workout before, so my heart is racing as I’m sitting in this traffic, and it’s making me so angry, right?”

After deciding to go to a different gym, Beth says she opened her center console to retrieve her headphones and found a photo of her dog, who had passed away.

“And it’s just like, I miss you,” she says while looking at the photo.

Her voice trembles as she processes it all.

“And like, I wish that there wasn’t all that traffic and that I made it and my day would’ve actually gone as planned ” she says before abruptly stopping.

Beth then pulls down her mirror and looks at herself.

“You need to stop. You need to stop,” she asserts before wiping her tears away.

In the week her video has been on TikTok, it’s garnered 2.4 million views and more than 452,900 likes. Users have taken to the comments to show Beth their support.

“The ‘you need to stop’ in the mirror is so relatable,” wrote @an.marsala.

“The deep breath trembling is so so real. WOW. Honey it will get better,” commented @vanee_hnm135.

“You being sad breaks my heart,” said @mrsabbywalker.

While the internet often feels saturated with people who only show the best parts of themselves, influencers like Beth remind us that it’s OK to break down and cry it out.

In The Know by Yahoo is now available on Apple News — follow us here!

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This Y2K influencer scored an iconic Disney Channel character’s shoes at Target

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This Canadian Micro-Influencer Broke Down How Much Money She Makes & It's Surprising (VIDEO)

This Canadian Micro-Influencer Broke Down How Much Money She Makes & It’s Surprising (VIDEO)

With a recession looming and grocery prices rising, many Canadians are keeping an eye out for ways to make a little extra cash. To give you insight on whether content creation’s actually a lucrative side hustle, Narcity spoke with Kaya Marriott — a micro-influencer based in Vancouver, B.C. — about how much she makes and how she got to where she’s at in her career.

The Vancouver influencer has been hustling for seven years, and now she’s making around $75,000 annually (that’s well over the average salary of $50,900 in B.C. according to WOWA).

The amount she made in the past year definitely fluctuated: Marriott’s 2022 started slowly in January with a $172 monthly income before popping off in March ($10,691) and taking a huge hit in April ($339). After that, her income levelled out a bit.

Overall, her biggest month was November, when her monthly total invoiced was a whopping $18,203.

Not a very “micro” income, but the term micro-influencer is actually defined by the number of followers someone has. The sweet spot, according to Marriott, is between 50,000 to 100,000 followers.

The content creator revealed a big perk of landing in this category: “What people don’t always realize is that brands often prefer working with micro-influencers and nano-influencers (those with under 10,000 followers), as our audiences are more connected and feel like a community.”

According to Marriott, that’s where the money is — brand partnerships. “These tend to come about pretty organically when you are regularly sharing products you love with your audience,” she shared.

It’s all about working at it and growing your audience — which won’t happen overnight.

“What I most often hear from people who tried content creating and gave up is that it was too hard to stay consistent—and I get that, it is really hard to keep at something when it’s not going well, or you’re not seeing results, and the only person you have to answer to is yourself.”

Marriott started as a blogger, hoping to inspire other Black women to love their natural hair texture.

“[I’ve] grown slowly but steadily since then, learning to secure and navigate brand deal negotiations,” she told Narcity. Once the influencer started earning enough to replace her day job, she took the plunge.

While she recognizes that it’s a privilege to be able to work as a content creator, Marriott also emphasized the hard work that this career path is paved with.

“[It] isn’t nearly as glamorous as people make it seem,” she revealed. “90% of my time is spent crouched over my computer doing emails, drafting concepts, writing, and editing.”

Though that image is not quite as glamorous as the ones you see on social media, the influencer is refreshingly honest with her following — and it’s certainly paid off.

Now her own boss, Marriott’s success story is one worth modelling after, especially if you’re looking to make some extra income right now.

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Influencer Briley Hussey and Country Rocker Marcus King Tied the Knot – Celeb Secrets

Influencer Briley Hussey and Country Rocker Marcus King Tied the Knot – Celeb Secrets

Marcus King and Briley Hussey are officially a happy married couple!

“The Well” singer married the social media influencer in a long awaited thoughtfully planned out ceremony at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I fell in love, hard!” King told PEOPLE .“She waltzed up on my bus like she owned it, and I was taken with her sweet southern drawl. She asked to connect to the Bluetooth, blared Linda Ronstadt and Aretha Franklin and we sang and danced till it was time for the bus to leave. I told her the next morning to quit her job and marry me instead.”

And that is exactly what the fellow singer did. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that music served as a heartfelt focal point for their special day.


Oh my Delilah🤍 @marcusking

♬ original sound – b r i l e y

“Marcus has called me ‘little bird’ since the night we met, so during our ceremony, Leah Blevins will be performing her song ‘Little Bird’ that starts out with the lyrics, ‘We got married on a Sunday,’” Hussey, who designed the wedding of her dreams in collaboration with wedding planner House of Grey, explains.

And that was not the only singer at attendance.

The pair was officiated by none other than Country Music Hall of Fame artist, Jamey Johnson.

To follow their nostalgic vibe, after dinner, guests were offered the chance to get inked by King’s tattoo artist, Adam the Kid while they got to enjoy signature drinks named after the couples three dogs Libby, Otis, and Duck.

Then at last, to end the night, the guests all received a parting gift — trucker hats from Texas-based Uncle Bekah’s Inappropriate Trucker Hats. 

A wedding curated perfectly to the couple’s taste.

We are so happy for the newlyweds! What do you think of Marcus King and Briley Hussey tying the knot in rockstar style? Let us know by either leaving a reaction below or by sending us a DM @celebsecrets.

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Will Influencers Be The New Recruiters In The Future Of Work?

Will Influencers Be The New Recruiters In The Future Of Work?

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  • They call them influencers for a reason; these people are known to certain populations and demographics, and these influencers have the special skill of persuasion.  
  • Seeing your favorite social media celeb on Twitter, etc., advocating for a particular company might be more enticing than seeing a simple job ad for the company.  
  • In a Q&A, Erin Lazarus, SHL’s Head of Solution Architects in the Americas, she explained her opinion on the future of job recruiting by social media influencers.  

You may not realize it initially, but it’s happening: You’re watching videos on TikTok or scrolling on Instagram and an influencer you follow is showcasing a particular product. This isn’t just happening solely with products, though — influencers are also talking about jobs now, too.  

Companies increasingly are hiring influencers to showcase different job opportunities in hopes of recruiting more workers.  

They call them influencers for a reason; these people are known to certain populations and demographics, and these influencers have the special skill of persuasion. These social media celebrities (whether micro or macro) know their audience, and they know how to market as well. 

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When companies hire influencers to recruit talent, this takes the somewhat boring edge off of the recruiting/hiring process. Seeing your favorite social media celeb on Twitter, etc., advocating for a particular company might be more enticing than seeing a simple job ad for the company. This might be especially true for Gen Z.  

The question is, will this be a trend that will gain traction in the world of recruiting?  

In a Q&A with Allwork.Space, SHL’s Head of Solution Architects in the Americas Erin Lazarus explained her opinion on the future recruiting using social media influencers.  

ORND Office Image MR

Allwork.Space: How will influencers become recruiters for employers? 

Erin Lazarus: First, let’s define influencers: influencers are people who have won the trust of their audience. They benefit from promoting themselves or products, and through their credibility, people listen, align to their opinions, and opt in. Relevant to influencers as recruiters, there are multiple types of influencers we are seeing emerge in this space: 

  1. Content creators and bloggers. These are people who build their brand through creating content posted on social media.
  2. Industry leaders and thought leaders. These are trusted sources in their fields like writers of newsletters you subscribe to, hosts of podcasts you listen to, leaders in professional organizations you are involved in, and authors of books you’ve read. These influencers use social media as an outlet to share their ideas rather than social media as the outlet to build their brand.
  3. Small scale influencers. These are local, regional, or niche community and business leaders and have micro-influence, but their following allows companies to reach niche, specific, or otherwise hard-to-reach audiences, like women in manufacturing, or underrepresented candidate populations. This group is particularly important for increasing access to diverse candidate populations.

So, how do influencers become recruiters? In the category of content creators, Chipotle started an Instagram account called People of Chipotle. This account is designed to highlight the lives (personal and professional) of people who work at Chipotle through their own posts on the account. Their tagline is “Real food. Real people. Real Opportunities. Discover what it’s like to work at Chipotle.” 

UltraSoft June

They seek to connect with broad and diverse audiences to promote their culture and encourage people to apply. In this case, they created their own channel to become an influencer. 

ContraHQ is a freelance marketplace and has a TikTok account (@contrahq) with 162,000 followers. By posting snappy, casual, high-energy content that provides tips and addresses shared experiences about work as a freelancer, they have gained a huge following with their target audience: freelancers looking for work. Companies looking to find freelance workers can even sponsor their jobs through posts on this account. 

In the category of thought leaders, Adam Grant is a great example of a thought leader and social media influencer. He has published several popular business books such as Originals and Think Again, and hosts the popular business podcasts Re: Thinking and Work Life. Through his prolific work, he has also established himself as a professional influencer on social media — with 1.8 million followers on Instagram and 800,000 followers on Twitter.  


Companies can sponsor Adam’s podcast episodes, and when Adam Grant boasts about a sponsored company’s culture or ability to improve the workplace, not only are his followers more likely to remember that company’s name, but they’re also likely to go take a peek at the job board — who wouldn’t want to work for a company that their favorite author believes in? 

Allwork.Space: In the future of work, do you see influencers being the main source of recruitment?

Erin Lazarus: Yes, I see influencers as being one of the multiple important sources of recruitment. This will be especially true for early career, digitally native workers entering the workforce. Just like TikTok has overtaken Google as a search engine for Gen Z, I believe we will see more companies leverage and create their own influencers to help them promote their jobs. 

2023 Media Kit Allwork.Space

Companies who want to compete for the best and brightest talent know they have to go find that talent rather than wait for it to come to them. The best way to get the attention of their target candidates is through channels that are already capturing their attention. While outlets like job fairs, LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. will continue to be a major player in the recruitment world, platforms like TikTok and Instagram will continue to blur the lines between personal and professional, and serve as an outlet for recruiters to reach candidates in their daily lives. 

Allwork.Space: How are they able to recruit better than a regular job advertisement or product advertisements? 

Erin Lazarus: The modern job market is noisy and messy. There is no easy or standard system to match people who would be a good fit to open jobs at scale. There are an overwhelming number of job titles for similar roles. Also, people don’t always know what they’re looking for. This makes hunting for a new job feel like its own full-time job. We search for jobs on Indeed, LinkedIn, through professional associations, on company websites, but importantly, through our networks.

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So, when an opportunity is presented in the right moment by an influencer you already trust, why wouldn’t you pay attention? For companies, using an influencer to promote your brand and employee value proposition increases the signal of your open role — it helps you cut through the noise to reach a broader, more diverse, and hopefully more targeted audience. 

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We are country girl and buckle bunny influencers

We are country girl and buckle bunny influencers

THESE country girls who live in a Western TikTok influencer house have risen to fame, and trolls may hate on them but they don’t care because the haters will never be as successful.

TikTokers Taylor Rousseau, Elva Steinmetz, and Amanda Simmons live together along with two cowboys Luke Scornavacco and Cameron Grigg, in what they call the Tac House.

The Tac House has risen to fame on TikTokCredit: TikTok
Trolls may hate on them but they don’t care because the haters will never be ‘as successful’ as themCredit: TikTok
The cowgirls in the house get called Buckle Bunnies, but they turned the derogatory term into a positive oneCredit: TikTok

The group posted its first TikTok in August 2022 and has already amassed 416,800 followers and 15million likes.

In an exclusive interview with The U.S. Sun, members of the Tac House said: “I think our followers enjoy watching us because we are a house full of differences, every one of us comes from a slightly different background.”

The TikTokers typically post silly videos of their antics around their Texas house or outside with their pigs and horses.

“I think most of our followers enjoy watching us because of our comedic videos.

“We are able to turn things about the Western industry into comedy.”

In one video, Taylor and Amanda are dolled up in flashy outfits with cowgirl boots covered in fringe and sparkles.

The comedic post has text that reads: “When the boys tell us we can’t overdress” for the rodeo.

But the caption reads: “What can I say…. They’re the queens of Western fashion.”

While the Tac House has many supporters, they do get trolled online.

The girls get called buckle bunnies, which is a derogatory term used to describe cowgirls that dress up to attract cowboys.

“Taylor did her best to try to change the perspective on the term,” the Tac House said. 

“Where people try to use it to belittle or degrade women in the industry, we all now use it as a compliment. 

“Yes, we dress cute and work hard #queenbucklebunny.”

The group decides to focus on those that support them, rather than the haters who they claim will never be “as successful” as them.

“At the end of the day in every industry you work in, you will find people that don’t want to see your success,” the members said.

“Our motto here at The Tac House is a quote from the great David Goggins: ‘You will never find a hater as successful as you.’

“We decide to stay true to ourselves, and work every day to put a smile on our followers’ faces.

The Tac House knows that “for every one person that is hating on us, there is equally another, that we have made a positive impact on, and helped influence their life in a good way.”

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Female influencer 'grows a micropenis from taking too many steroids'

Female influencer ‘grows a micropenis from taking too many steroids’

By Monique Friedlander For Daily Mail Australia

21:31 18 Feb 2023, updated 21:31 18 Feb 2023

An extraordinary rumour about a well-known Aussie influencer is doing the rounds.

If the gossip is to be believed, the high-profile woman has taken so many anabolic steroids that her clitoris has grown into an appendage that resembles a micropenis.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been using performance-enhancing drugs for years, and is now facing serious side effects. 

According to eagle-eyed fans, some photos of the woman in tight-fitting gym shorts appear to show a noticeable bulge that was not there previously.

Women who use anabolic steroids for a prolonged period of time may experience masculinising side effects, including excessive swelling of the clitoris, which can result in it resembling a very small penis.

Her voice also appears to have deepened over time, as recent videos show her speaking in a much lower pitch than in recordings from several years ago.

Rumours a well-known Aussie influencer has taken so many anabolic steroids that her clitoris has grown into a micropenis. (Pictured: a stock image of a female bodybuilder)

Voice deepening is a common side-effect experienced by women who abuse anabolic steroids.

Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone, the primary male sex hormone in men.

These substances are generally used for cosmetic reasons, as well as to grow muscles and build strength. 

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been using performance-enhancing drugs for years, and is now facing serious side effects. (Pictured: a stock image)

While anabolic steroids are not chemically addictive, users can become reliant upon them to maintain their self-esteem and confidence, making quitting very difficult.

Under current Australian legislation, the possession of anabolic steroids, which contain testosterone, is illegal without a prescription.

Penalties vary between each state and territory, and in some cases suppliers can face up to 25 years imprisonment.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drugs, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline: 1800 250 015

 What are the side-effects of anabolic steroid use for women?

Women who use anabolic steroids may experience:

  • Water retention and bloating
  • Aggravated body hair growth 
  • Decreased breast size and body fat
  • Fatigue and sleeping problems
  • Irregular menstruation 
  • Deeper voice
  • Irritability, mood swings or aggression
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Male pattern baldness 
  • Acne and coarse skin 
  • Enlarged clitoris 

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Influencer vows to ‘keep it smooth’ amid TikTok career highs, family health lows

Influencer vows to ‘keep it smooth’ amid TikTok career highs, family health lows

Editor’s note: This story was originally published by Spark MHK,  a non-profit, community-based hub of programming and networks designed to connect entrepreneurs, startups and small business owners to each other and the larger ecosystem in the Greater Manhattan area.

Click here to read the original story.

The day JahVelle Rhone learned he’d been accepted to TikTok’s 100 Black Creators Program was the same he and his wife shaved their heads in solidarity with their young daughter, who was starting to lose her hair from chemotherapy, the Manhattan-based influencer and musician said.

“It was a crazy, absolutely bittersweet moment, where it was like ‘Wow, I am super excited about this [opportunity], but at the same time, it is met with such gravity with what’s happening in my personal life,’” said Rhone, a Kansas City, Kansas, native with more than one million followers on social media as JRSaxophonic.  

Taking notes from his father, Rhone had always played music around his own home, creating a joyful environment for his family, his first audience. In hard times and good, music provided the family a solace and joy that brought them together.

Click here to follow Rhone on TikTok.

JahVelle Rhone in a still from one of his TikTok performances.

With the acceptance into the TikTok program for Black creators, Rhone’s career was poised for upward momentum. His daughter Layla’s diagnosis with a Stage III Wilm’s tumor brought the family back to reality.

They commuted between Manhattan and Kansas City for her treatments. Rhone looked for ways to adapt to his situation, and he hunkered down in a hotel conference room to make content and tried to keep going.

Ongoing content creation and program workload became difficult to manage, he said, and Rhone began to wonder if he should quit the program and direct his full attention to his family.  

Layla had other plans, insisting he keep playing.

“When I told my daughter that I was probably going to stop, she told me, ‘No, because it makes me feel better when you play,’” Rhone said. “And this was coming from a 5-year-old at the time, and I was like, ‘What?’ … She said it was the one thing that made her feel like things weren’t changing. How could I stop?”  

With his daughter’s encouragement and a renewed commitment to the opportunities in front of him, Rhone embraced all the knowledge and introductions the TikTok Black Creatives Program offered. He and the other participants received perks to complete program assignments. 

“Some of those incentives were getting coached by [artists like] Gabrielle Union and Common, and also by several incredible people who are making headway in today’s society,” Rhone said.

The program also provided him with practical tools to run a business, manage himself as a brand, foster industry partnerships, and more. These business and brand foundations started to shift Rhone’s view of himself and his work beyond influencer and musician.

“That’s where I really started thinking, ‘OK, it’s more than just content creation. I can create sustainability and legacy by doing this,’” he said.  

It wasn’t long before he was securing brand deals with confidence. With the help of TikTok’s program, Rhone signed his first deal with Rockstar, a Pepsi entity. 

“That was my first big contract. They [TikTok Black Creative instructors] taught us how to negotiate our contracts, read through them, hire lawyers, agencies, and managers to help us through our contracts, along with things to avoid, which is something we never think about,” he said. “With all of that, you really have to protect yourself as a brand, an artist, and a creative because people will try to take advantage of you.”

JahVelle Rhone, also known as JRSaxophonic, joined by Khaby Lame, international TikTok sensation and influencer, one of many connections he made in TikTok’s 100 Black Creators Program; Photo courtesy of JahVelle Rhone

The long road to overnight success 

Rhone first discovered his love of music at home with family in Kansas City, Kansas.

“It all started in the basement of my childhood home, where my dad used to play the guitar after church, and my brothers and I would dance for hours upon hours to his music,” he said. “I knew that I would love nothing more than to be a musician because that day, the joy we felt in that basement and listening to the sounds of the soulful music had to be supernatural.”

As JRSaxophonic on social media, the intersection of Rhone’s talent as a saxophone player and digital media creator has taken him across the country and through doors he only dreamed were possible a few short years ago, he said.

Recognized for his soulful, smooth sounds across multiple social media platforms, he said, “My staple would be to inspire, to bring joy and cultivate a soulful wave in music through love, positively, and empowerment.”

“And my only rule is to keep it smooth.”

 Grounded by his deep Kansas City roots, Rhone made his way to Manhattan, his current home, where he attended Kansas State University and finished his undergraduate degree. Not only did the K-State campus provide him with a degree, but he found his partner and future wife. Today, he is happily married to an author and elementary school teacher, Teandra, and together they have four children: three daughters and one son.

Rhone’s day job keeps him close to innovation and media creation at the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab, located at the Hale library, where he currently serves as the media director and worked with Associate Director Jeff Sheldon to bring many of the concepts in the lab to life. 

Like most “overnight success” stories before him, Rhone put in thousands of hours perfecting the crafts of both music and technology long before he became a TikTok influencer. Playing in a number of venues across the region, he built a unique brand image, personalized to what he loved most, which gave him an exclusive position.  

When Rhone got his start, social media was only in its infancy, and TikTok didn’t exist yet, but he used his media and technology knowledge to weave in audiovisual content into his concerts. 

“I loved incorporating media into what I did as a musician,” Rhone said. “That really allowed me to stand out from other musicians, because I had the production value along with a concert experience, and I knew how to bring those two together.”   

To incorporate these two backgrounds during a show, he created a short movie clip, ranging from two to three minutes, based on various experiences and places from his present day life. The clips were inspired by one of his favorite entertainers, Michael Jackson, who also incorporated media into his performances.

“He used to make people have an experience when they went to his concerts,” said Rhone, noting he wanted to have the same effect on his audiences.

So Rhone began to think of ways in which content could bring people into a richer musical experience.

“I figured out how to get a projector into the concert venues and how to stream original films that I created for my audience to make them feel more immersed into the experience,” he said. “And it worked like a charm to be honest.”

When in doubt, reach out

Rhone’s innovative styles and ability to fuse multiple forms of media was not only a crowd pleaser, but formed the foundation for what would attract and inspire millions on social media only a few years later.  

He started to recognize that his work was more than music in 2020, just as the world entered a lockdown. But he ran into some setbacks at first.

Photo courtesy of JahVelle Rhone, JRSaxophonic

“I was at a point in my life where I was wondering, ‘Do I want to continue to be a musician?’ because things were not manifesting in the way that I thought it would,” Rhone recalled.

As he considered putting his music on hold to refocus elsewhere, he noticed trending videos on TikTok and how the growth of the platform began to have a significant influence on society.  

During 2020, Rhone downloaded TikTok so he and his family could participate in a trending TikTok dance. After joining the app, he began to wonder if he could do his music on TikTok and possibly get an audience.

“I started creating videos, and I would get like one, two likes, and sometimes zero views,” he said.  

With the unsuccessful start on social media, Rhone reached out to his friends at Kansas City comedy clubs, where he had previously performed. His friends had also joined TikTok, and he noticed they experienced account growth and success faster than him, making him feel doubtful of his efforts. 

Fortunately, they offered advice.

“They were like, ‘You got to post three times a day – just stay consistent’. And I started to do that, and at the end of December, I started seeing gradual growth. I joined in August, and started posting consistently in September, and from September to November I gained close to 1,000 followers,” he detailed.  

Encouraged by the gradual growth, Rhone searched for ways to expand and reach a diverse audience. “I wanted to live stream as a musician because I knew that it would help grow my account. At the time, nobody was doing that. TikTok counts me as one of the first instrumentalists to live stream and do performances on their app,” he said.

Incorporating live streaming into his content plan led a niche community of TikTok, known as TikTok Live, to notice his work and offered him a partnership with them.  

At the start of 2021, one of Rhone’s friends from the comedy group told him that TikTok was offering a new program, an incubator for Black content creators called TikTok Black Creatives Program. The program was sponsored by Stay Macro, which is the largest Black-owned media company.

Inspired to support influencers in his industry, film producer and Stay Macro founder, Charles D. King, collaborated with TikTok to create the Black Creative program.

“King chose 100 of the top TikTok creators on the app at the time, and there were literally thousands and thousands of people worldwide, and they chose two instrumentalists. They chose me and this guy, John the Violinist from Ohio,” Rhone said.  

A resource for influencers

Since his first brand deal with Rockstar, Rhone has partnered with a number of household names and major brands who have helped him grow as a content creator, entrepreneur, and musician, including a partnership with Meta, YouTube Shorts, and Goorin Brothers (a hat company). He is also a Sony Music Influencer, and recorded his first major recording with Universal Music Group, among other opportunities. 

Locally, Rhone accessed entrepreneur resources to support him and his growing brand and business. 

“My wife and I started an LLC with support from the Black Entrepreneurs of the Flint Hills,” he said. “We had help from Sheila Ellis-Glasper and Jermane Glasper, who are some of our best friends. They walked us through starting our first LLC back in early 2021, and to this day we’re still in good standing. We’re learning what that means, keeping track of our numbers, we’re tracking our books, and it’s been a great experience.”  

Now that his business and brand are set on solid foundations for growth and legacy, Rhone saw the opportunity to pass on what he learned about building a business for influencers. With the career of “influencer” being new and somewhat undefined, he discovered that most creators don’t have tools and resources to build a business from their identity and work.

After a conversation with Kudzi Chikumbu, global head of creator marketing at TikTok, Rhone decided to write a book.

“Even though I didn’t see anyone else develop a book [on this topic] yet, I immediately started making my bullet points and how I was going to organize it because I knew people want to learn how to do this,” he said. “I’m creating a book about my life as an influencer and the journey. It will have supplemental materials for people who want to become influencers.”   

While JahVelle and his family’s story is far from over, this moment is something of a happy ending to his daughter’s cancer journey. 

Layla is two months in remission, cancer-free,” Rhone said. “We are super excited about that. We are very grateful. She had some incredible opportunities.”  

‘More famous than I am’

Now-7-year-old Layla’s courage facing cancer opened influencer doors for her as well, and Rhone’s knowledge of business and brand positioned him to guide her through that process and help her make the most of it.

“She got to partner with TikTok For Good, as well as the American Cancer Society, to help raise money for them. She also did a partnership with Sporting KC, and she will partner with the Kansas City Chiefs at their first playoff game,” he said. “The Chiefs just called us last week to talk to my daughter and see if she would be at the first playoff game with them.”

“She reminds me daily that she is more famous than I am,” Rhone said, laughing. “She is in second grade, and she’s already done some really cool stuff.” 

As Rhone’s influence and brand expands, and his daughter’s as well, new doors continue to open for the family. No matter what he experiences, however, he remains committed to the people and practices that ground him most, he said: faith, family and the joy of music, just like his father taught him, always led by his guiding motto: “Keep it smooth.”  

Click here to follow Rhone on YouTube.

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TikToker Joey Swoll blasts influencer mocking man unable to pay for date at Chili’s

TikToker Joey Swoll blasts influencer mocking man unable to pay for date at Chili’s

Published: 2023-02-16T21:51:16

Updated: 2023-02-16T21:51:24

TikToker Joey Swoll has uploaded a video blasting another influencer who was mocking a man after hearing he was unable to pay for an item his date wanted while eating at Chili’s.

Fitness TikToker Joey Swoll is one of the most positive accounts on the short-form video app, with every single one of his videos featuring him telling others to be better human beings inside and outside of the gym.

Most recently, he went viral after calling out a female Twitch streamer for posting a video where she claimed to be the victim — which has since been deleted.

Now, Joey is viral yet again, this time blasting another influencer for mocking a man who he overheard was unable to pay for an item his date wanted while eating at Chili’s.

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Joey Swoll blasts influencer mocking man unable to pay for date

In the stitched video posted by Joey, you can see another TikToker had uploaded a video showing a man who appears to be an Instagram influencer, with the hashtag #MessieCee in the description.

In it, the man mocked someone close by claiming that he had overheard the person tell his date that he “didn’t have enough money” to buy an item off the menu that they asked for.

Joey Swoll had a fair bit of words to say regarding the situation, putting the influencer on blast in the process.

“This video is so sad, so disappointing to see. Times are hard for a lot of people. There are a lot of people who can’t afford to go out to eat tonight,” he said.

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“You had to say this so loud because you intentionally want that man to hear you, you want to shame him. And then you go post that online? For what? So people can make fun of him? So you can feel good about yourself?”

Joey added: “I can’t believe people think this is okay to do to another human being today. You need to do better. Mind your own f*cking business.”

Shortly after it was uploaded, Joey’s video response went viral with thousands of people agreeing with his statements.

The influencer has yet to respond to Swoll’s comments, but we’ll be sure to update if he does. In the meantime, head over to our entertainment section for more news.

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A ‘royal’ influencer: Smithfield High senior forms mentorship-focused dance team - Smithfield Times

A ‘royal’ influencer: Smithfield High senior forms mentorship-focused dance team – Smithfield Times

A ‘royal’ influencer: Smithfield High senior forms mentorship-focused dance team

Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Smithfield High School senior Everyonna Williams has two favorite mottos: “My inner me defines my outer me” and “I survived my yesterday so that my future will be as bright as I want it to be.”

The latter is particularly descriptive of her high school experience, which has been far from normal.

After her first semester of ninth grade, her school in Concord, North Carolina, shuttered during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. By May 2020, she’d relocated with her family to the Smithfield area but stayed homeschooled even when Isle of Wight County Schools reopened classrooms to students that fall.

Despite being a self-described “people person,” she remained enrolled in Virtual Virginia, an online-only Virginia Department of Education learning platform, for the next two years. She only returned to a classroom setting in September.

“A lot has changed and it really motivates me to graduate and become a productive citizen so that I can give back to the community,” Williams said.

She already has a head start on the giving back part.

Within weeks of stepping through Smithfield High’s doors, she began observing the struggles of some of her classmates and took an interest in mentorship. In October, she became the founding member and coach of Smithfield’s new “Royal Influence” majorette dance team.

Westside Elementary School Counselor Martella Hawkins, who’s also Williams’ mother, serves as the team’s master mentor.

The team is open to girls ages 6-17, and in only four months, has grown to more than 30 members. Royal Influence hosted a three-day dance camp in late October at Nike Park and a formal induction ceremony at Westside Elementary on Nov. 29.

The Royalettes, as the girls refer to themselves, have been on the move ever since.

The team performed in Chesapeake’s 11th annual Chic-Fil-A Parade on Dec. 3, Portsmouth’s

“Something About the Youth Explosion” on Dec. 4 and the Smithfield Christmas Parade on Dec. 11. On Jan. 16, the team traveled to Washington, D.C., to dance in the 42nd national Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, where their performance made it onto NBC News.

On Jan. 28, they performed in their first basketball half-time show at Old Dominion University. They’re also booked to perform at the “Buck or Die” competition at Norfolk State University on April 29, hosted by Dianna Williams, star of the Lifetime reality series “Bring it!”

Being a Royalette isn’t just about dancing. By design, it’s also about mentorship. Royalettes adhere to a creed of SAPE. The acronym stands for “strictly adhere to memorized positive affirmations,” “attend social events to gain foundational skills of proper etiquette,” “perform boundless entertainment through dance at local and out-of-state events” and “explore meaningful places” by taking college tours and trips to historic and educational sites.

Williams’ two favorite mottos are each from the creed and affirmations Hawkins created.

Williams visited 20 colleges last summer with her mother, while on what Williams calls a “generational curse-breaking tour.” She’ll be the first in her family to attend college immediately after high school, and has been accepted to 32 colleges to date. 

Alabama State University, one of only three historically Black colleges and universities nationwide that offers a degree specifically in dance, is presently Williams’ top choice. She hopes to major in elementary education with a concentration in dance and join the ASU “Honeybeez” dance team.

“The Honeybeez motto is ‘bee’ bold, ‘bee’ beautiful, ‘bee’ you, and is just simply my exact beliefs that builds my self confidence as a plus-size female,” Williams said.

She plans to return to Isle of Wight County after college to teach majorette-style dancing in a brick-and-mortar studio.


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