Industry Voices: Taylar Barrington
This is our series called “Industry Voices,” where we interview social media experts and Creator Marketing insiders to get their take on industry trends, marketing best practices, and actionable insights for crafting smart strategy.
We spoke to Taylar Barrington, Founder of Agency Cliquish, an advocacy-led Creator management agency for Black digital talent. Having worked with a broad spectrum of Creators and brands, Taylar is a knowledgeable resource on all things Creator Marketing, as well as a true champion of the importance of authenticity.
What’s your biggest source of inspiration?
My greatest wellspring of inspiration comes from the remarkable Creators we have the privilege of serving daily. It is a true honor to be granted access to the world of these audacious dreamers, and their boundless determination fuels both me and my team to continually strive for excellence!
Here at Agency Cliquish, our unwavering commitment is specifically focused on empowering Black talent. This commitment transforms us into advocates, standing resolutely in the gap, and championing inclusion. This mission becomes even more vital when we consider the stark disparities in the influencer marketing industry, as highlighted by reputable sources such as the MSL Group. Shockingly, their reports reveal that, by the end of their first year in the influencer marketing sphere, white influencers are more than twice as likely to secure sponsored brand deals as compared to their BIPOC counterparts. Moreover, the daunting pay gap between Black and white content Creators looms at a staggering 35%.
While our work contributes to the broader transformation of this industry, it is the profound, yet often inconspicuous, impacts we get to have on the lives of our talent and their families that truly motivates us to show up each day. These personal and meaningful connections remind us of the importance of our mission, propelling us forward with unwavering dedication!
What does the word “authenticity” mean to you?
Authenticity, to me, signifies embracing our imperfections openly. It’s about not putting on a facade, and leaving the artificial for those who prefer to project an aspirational image rather than an inspirational one.
While I recognize the importance of aspiration, as we all need something to strive for, there’s a growing weariness in constantly being told we’re not measuring up. Authenticity offers people the freedom to believe that their current state is sufficient, perfectly normal, and deserving of celebration…and we love that!
Which social platform are you loving right now and why?
Honestly, LinkedIn is my go-to platform. Personally, I enjoy connecting with professionals in my industry, and LinkedIn provides the ideal space for staying updated on the latest trends, engaging with fresh and exciting ideas, and forging connections that often evolve into some of our most valued partnerships, not to mention forming meaningful friendships.
What’s one thing every Creator should know about brand campaigns?
Every Creator should understand that the brands following the right path are the ones inviting you to form authentic partnerships. These are the brands that place more importance on entrusting you to seamlessly integrate their message than they do on scripted lines.
The reality is, your advertisements shouldn’t come across as distinct from your natural, organic content; they should seamlessly blend in. After all, it’s your genuine self that initially attracted the brand to collaborate with you.
Which Creators do you think are truly excelling right now?
Creators that excel in crafting bold and captivating narratives, masterfully focus on their expertise, and peel away the artificial to celebrate the authenticity of everyday life.
Which brand currently has the smartest social strategy, and why?
I believe that a brand that prioritizes collaboration with Creators truly understands the pulse of the industry. Collaboration is an essential element in effectively connecting with a broad audience in today’s digital landscape, often hinging on the concept of staying relevant.
On a personal note, I’m an avid admirer of several brands, mainly because we work closely with them on a daily basis. We gain insights into their objectives and how they leverage the talents of Creators to convey compelling narratives through social media. Among our recent standout campaigns are those with Nike Running, Keys Soulcare, and Fashion Fair Cosmetics.
What’s your biggest social media/marketing prediction?
My prediction earlier this year was that we’d witness a growing convergence of entertainment and influencer marketing.
For years, these two industries have largely operated in parallel, but I’m thrilled to observe the increasing integration of influencer talent into major network streaming shows, movies, and television!
How do you stay ahead of fast-moving social media trends without losing focus on your current goals and objectives?
I’ve discovered that succeeding in the fast-paced world of trends hinges on understanding your brand’s core identity and how to authentically incorporate these trends.
It’s equally important to recognize when certain trends might not align with your brand’s direction. I don’t subscribe to the idea that every trend suits everyone, but if you do aim to integrate one, it should seamlessly blend into the larger brand narrative.
What are the top three tools that you can’t live without as a Marketer?
As a Marketer, staying centered in a constantly shifting world is crucial. My favorite tools for maintaining that balance are like my lifelines.
Firstly, my Bible App, which delivers daily verses for meditation, helps me stay rooted in my beliefs. Secondly, my Apple Watch, with its reminders to hydrate, breathe, and stay active, keeps me physically and mentally on track. And last but not least, Spotify, because music, with its healing power, plays a significant role in my life. Whether it’s a soothing playlist or a nostalgic ‘90s R&B playlist, it’s a source of energy for me.
If you could give brands or Creators one social media tip right now, what would it be?
The key is to let go of trending sounds, my friend. Unleash your voice, speak up, share your perspectives, and strive to become a thought leader in your niche.