‘Talent Wins At The End Of The Day’: Jacques Bastien On Leveling Up In Influencer Marketing

Kwame Som-Pimpong
Written by Kwame Som-Pimpong
Jacques Bastien
Jacques Bastien, the co-founder of influencer management firm SHADE, gives his insights for brands looking to level up in influencer marketing. Image: Anita Sanikop

Are you in the marketing industry as a content creator or buyer of content? Jacques Bastien, co-founder of SHADE, discusses the influencer marketing industry with GHOGH host Jamarlin Martin.

SHADE is an influencer management firm that connects Black creators and creators of color with top brands that are looking to connect with Black culture. The company represents more than 80 creators from a range of industries. Bastien gives his insights on the influencer market, sharing some keys for buyers and creators that will help you level up.

Value Creators

Brands buying content from a creator are essentially hiring a creative team, Jacques says . “You’re hiring a copywriter, you’re hiring media to help publish and share this thing out to the world and you’re even hiring for buying somebody’s likeness. But you’re getting all of that under one roof.” Creators are able to reduce the number of people brands have to work with on a campaign while also delivering high-quality content. Considering that, Jacques advises that brands pay creators for that value.

Are you a brand searching for resources on what it looks like to work with content creators who are influencers? Here are some resources:

What Will Influencer Marketing Look Like in 2020? – Kristen Baker

Let Your Talent Shine

Content creators can present aspirational lifestyles, but having a strong talent is what will ensure that they build a strong business around their brand. Talent wins at the end of the day and that it is key, Jacques said. “I think it’s important to figure out, regardless of what content you’re creating, there’s a talent behind it — design, comedy, whatever that talent is.”

Are you a content creator but not sure of what your talent is? Here are some resources to get you on the path to figuring that out:

10 Ways To Identify Your Talents And Utilize Them – Courtney Romano

3 Ways to Discover Your Hidden Natural Talent – Leonard Kim

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life Might Just Help You Live a More Fulfilling Life – Thomas Oppong


Once you get clear on your talent, Jacques advises creators to identify ways to use your talent in different ways to diversify your income streams. “When you’re creating content on YouTube and maybe trying to get some money from ads, that’s one avenue. Maybe create a course that you put on Udemy or your own platform. That’s another way you’re making money from your talent,” he said.

Looking for ideas on how you can diversify your income? Here is a resource to get new ideas flowing:

How to Make 64 Pieces of Content in a Day – Gary Vaynerchuk

Put Some Respect on Your Name

Jacques advises creators to take their work seriously. “I think us Black creators, we don’t take ourselves seriously enough because we see people like us even making money from these things, but we often look at it as if that can never be me.” Jacques stresses that the reality is that creators can build businesses just as big as the influencers they admire.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 36: Jacques Bastien

Jamarlin talks to Jacques Bastien, founder and CEO of SHADE, a leading influencer management agency. They discuss Jacques’ concept of “hustlepreneurship”, developing a culture that embraces the benefits from entrepreneurship failure and navigating the complex business of social influencers.

Need some help taking your work more seriously? Here is a resource to get you on track:

15 Hard Truths You Need to Hear Right Now About Entrepreneurship – Lisa Abeyta

There’s a lot of opportunity out there for content creators, and a lot of work that goes into seizing them. Jacques offers some foundational insights that could position you to take your work to the next level. Let’s GHOGH!

Kwame Som-Pimpong advises clients on incorporating human-centered design into their strategy development processes. He is also a writer covering business, technology, policy, and their intersections with black people. He earned a BA in Political Science from Davidson College and Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. He can be reached at kwame.som.pimpong@gmail.com.