The American Influencer Council (AIC) recently launched the Career Creator Club, a free mentoring community. This community connects AIC Members, volunteer Fortune 500 senior executives and creators-at-large to further accelerate a culture of entrepreneurship. The Career Creator Club is specifically targeted at U.S.-based nano to mid-tier influencers. Above all, it will spotlight emerging digital-first professionals telling the stories driving the creator economy.
Creating an inclusive community
In light of the heightened hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), the debut cohort will foster unity in the creator community. For example, the Council plans to amplify the voices of a new guard of young AAPI women in business. These women are Lofanitani Aisea Ball, Modoc, Tahlequah, Klamath, and Black Tongan, a GenZ TikToker and multicultural activist; Minou “Nou” Anthony, Vietnamese American beauty creator; Jessica Foley, Thai-American portrait/lifestyle photographer; Hikari Murakami, Japanese American lifestyle mompreneur; Marissa Ren, Chinese American fashion creator and an inaugural recipient of the TikTok Creator Fund; and Elizabeth “Eli” Wirija, a Jakarta-born fashion photographer, video and art director who now calls New York City home.
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are indeed core to the AIC mission. #AICforALL matters 365 days a year. The Council particularly strives to create an inclusive space for creators and influencer marketing professionals from all backgrounds.
Knowledge is power
According to recent estimates by Mediakix, nano to mid-tier influencers globally account for the majority of all creators across Instagram (98 percent), YouTube (97 percent) and TikTok (60 percent). In December 2020, Harvard Business Review published an article titled “The Creator Economy Needs a Middle Class” and suggested one of the ways that success could be attained by many was through creator education and training. The AIC is a learning and development first trade association.
Creators must have support from the business community. “Instead of focusing on short-term opportunities, we are challenging creators to define long-term success. Our goal with the Career Creator Club is to advance lifelong learning and interactive narrative education. I believe the knowledge you possess is fortified when it is shared with others,” says Qianna Smith Bruneteau, AIC Founder. “The AIC champions creators at all career stages, particularly nano to mid-tier creators, who comprise the majority of our trade. Creators are small businesses and an anchor of the U.S. economy. President Biden mentioned in late March that he wants to grow the economy, from the bottom up and from the middle out.”
A community of mentors
Significantly, the Career Creator Club provides executive group mentoring meant to strengthen intercultural understanding. Specifically, club mentors will share knowledge, experiences and concrete action steps to accelerate professional growth. Mentorship undoubtedly results in more remarkable career creator outcomes. Representation has become non-negotiable, and rightly so.
“Building a solid professional network is imperative for every startup entrepreneur,” adds Aliza Licht, AIC Board Vice President, author and host of Leave Your Mark Podcast. “Having the ability to listen and learn from established professionals who are committed to fostering mutual respect among cultures is significant.” As a result, the AIC is forging a path fortified by allies within the business community who want creators to succeed.
The inaugural executive volunteer mentors include:
- Rocky Barnes, Model, Entrepreneur, Designer & AIC Founding Member
- Anna Tolosa Irving, Senior Vice President GMM Women’s Designer Ready-to-Wear at Saks Fifth Avenue, & AIC Member Advisor
- Melissa Lee, Founder & CEO, The GREEN Program
- Khoa Nguyen, Senior Vice President, Aeffe USA Inc.
- And more!
“We started the AIC to help creators improve their skills and expand their business knowledge,” says Rocky Barnes, lead creator mentor. “I’m pleased we have support from the business community to realize this goal. The Council is very excited to offer programming exclusively to support emerging creators. I’m half Filipino, so it’s great to share experiences with this particular cohort during our heritage month and with so many other dynamic Asian American executives. I can’t wait to see how the Career Creator Club expands.”
The Career Creator Club will activate new mentorship cohorts throughout the year.
About American Influencer Council
The American Influencer Council (AIC) is the sole 501(c)6 not-for-profit membership trade association in the U.S., led by and for career creators. The AIC harnesses resources to advance digital marketing education, research of the digital economy as it relates to creators’ contributions to the GDP, professional standards for career creators, sponsored content standardization, think tank development, and curation of publicly available business growth resources, amongst others.
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