Aye you…Yes you. Are you tired of scrolling through your feed on Instagram and seeing what seems like the same old pictures of purses, coffee, and the same girl. Oh wait, that is a different girl, but she looks like the one you just scrolled past, and the one after her. Whoops, that’s your own page?? Does your website look like this too? Girl, your stuff is really starting to look alike isn’t it? I think you need to put in some DIVERSITY….
What Does Diversity Mean?
Before we get into how you can increase diversity in your business, let’s first start out by defining it and understanding why it is important.
What do you think the word Diversity means? In the past decade Diversity has become a buzzword for companies and politicians to talk about having people of different races represented. But is that all? Does having one black girl on your social media that one time give you the title of being diverse or inclusive?
No…that is not it.
To figure out what diversity really means let’s go to the place where all things are defined, the dictionary:
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines diversity as:
- The condition of having or being composed of differing elements: variety; especially: the inclusion of difference types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) In a group or organization.
- An instance of being composed of different elements or qualities
When people think about the word diversity they usually focus on the first definition and forget about the latter. When I see this I think diversity is really broken down into two elements:
- Differences in Bodies
- Differences of Thought
Differences in bodies can mean differences in race but it can also mean skin tone, hair type, body shape, ableness, gender, age and height.
Differences in Thought is where diversity really thrives. Each one of us are different have had different life experiences. Diversity in thought is bringing those life experiences to show differences in ideas, cultures, personalities, religion, and ways of thinking.
It is important to recognize these differences in people because it can help your business. In this age of social media and marketing influence, diversity is so important. People like to have representation and see themselves in your advertisement or business offerings. They want to see someone that looks like them on your feed or lookbooks. This will help them to connect to your brand and your product. I mean if you don’t believe me look no further than the launch of Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. Fenty Beauty did not take the makeup world by storm because Riri told us to buy it. It was her attention to diversity. She saw that people have different skin tone and would like makeup that actually matched their skin… who would have thunk??? So you ready to talk about how your business can have more Diversity?
3 Ways To Increase Diversity In Your Business
The first step to understanding how you can be more diverse is understanding where you are now and what you want the diversity in your brand to look like.
An easy way to do this is to look at your social media accounts. Let us do an exercise. Open your Instagram page, in the first 12 pictures- Do you have any body diversity? Any thought diversity? Do all the people you are featuring in your posts have the same body shape, skin tone, race, gender, hair color? Are all the pictures showing the same poses, the same type of shots, the same concept? Ok now let’s scroll. How far down in your feed to get to a person of color? A person of different ableness? A different concept? A shot that is so uniquely you? A different design technique?
Ok now that we have done this where are you doing? Are you being inclusive? Do you see any Diversity of Thought or Diversity of Body? How do you think people with differences in mind or body look at your feed? Where can you improve? Can you imagine different versions of your ideal consumer?
Make a Conscious Effort:
Championing diversity in your brand is hard! Trust me, I know. I will not claim to have the most diverse site as I do have areas to work on, but guess what? I have made myself aware, so now I am making conscious efforts to do better. But how?
Be Deliberate When Casting Models: Many times, we just cast our friends as models in our look books or styled shoots because they are easy to get and they are usually free. Stop that! Most times your friends look like you or the person that’s all over social media. When picking models, be deliberate about your casting and find a model that represents something that you are lacking. Yes you may have to pay for their services, but the better representation could help to broaden your client base.
Work with New Vendors: When you’re thinking about collaborating with vendors do you pull up your list of a few friendors (“friend-Vendors”) that you always work with? Stop that! Everybody has a different skill set and different ideas. Working with new people can help you increase your Diversity of Thought.
Travel and Make New Friends:
Yes girl, get out their travel! The world is filled with different people and places all unique in their own little way. The best way to change your mindset is to travel.
Now I am not talking about going on vacation and falling asleep on the beach. While beach vacations are needed to keep your sanity, they will probably not expand your mind.
Go someplace different, get out there and experience the people that live there through their food, their music, and talking with them. When you travel make connections with people who do something similar to you or can help your business. For example, if you make scented candles, maybe make an appointment to tour a perfumery in France, if you are a photographer maybe try to organize a styled shoot with vendors on your next trip to Nashville, if you are a blogger, arrange a meeting with a designer when in Nigeria.
These travels and connections can help to not only expand your mind, but also your business to provide you with an edge that can set you apart. Traveling can be one of the most enriching experiences if you let it.
So ladies I hope this helps you to understand how you can increase the diversity in your business and I would like to leave you with this:
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
— Maya Angelou
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandra Claytor Davis, Bridal Gush
As publisher of the Ohio-based wedding blog, Bridal Gush, Alexandra started is a wedding obsessed girl striving to make wedding planning stress free by providing brides with a place to find practical wedding planning advice, gush-worthy wedding inspiration, and great vendors that are passionate about their craft. She is in love with love and you can frequently find her tearing up over love stories submitted by couples ( a state my husband finds her in all too often).