Content Coach Florence Williams Shares What She Wants All Creators To Stop Doing To Create A More Inclusive and Equitable Community
“We’re all-in-one. We’re doing something you can’t do on your own or without hiring a full department or team to tackle on. Content creation is a service. I think creators need to change the narrative. It’s not ok to not pay us.”
– Florence Williams, Content Creator, Founder of @TheBlendedBeauty
Based in Atlanta, Georgia of the United States, Florence Williams, also known as Flo, is the Filipino and Bajan Founder and Creator of @theblendedbeauty with a focus on haircare and cruelty-free beauty and sustainable living.
Her wildly engaged 10k+ following has been growing organically since 2016. Flo is known for her genuine and honest opinions and exposès. Along with content creating, Flo is also a social media coach. She helps creators find their magic and convey it to the world.
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On her HAIR HISTORY and identity…
“Self identity has been a huge topic for my whole life. I didn’t really know how to navigate who I was or my culture until I got to college. I didn’t start getting a curl pattern until I was about 13 years old.”
“After a year of having curly hair, I felt like I was done and I begged my parents to give me a relaxer. In middle school I got a relaxer and I thought it was so great, I loved it. My hair was straightened for two weeks. I didn’t wash it or anything. Then I felt like I was told a lie because after I would wash it, my hair was still curly. It’s not what I wanted.”
“I was struggling with it, but realized, OK I’m going to work with God gave me. I’m going to try and understand what this was. I am like an O.G. curly girl. I’ve been officially natural for 13-15 years. I started when YouTube was just coming out and got a lot of information from forums.”
*Check out these following forums for curly hair journey support: Long Hair Care Forums, NaturallyCurly.com, Fotki (dubbed as the “Original IG”), Curly Hair – Reddit, and this list of publications and platforms to follow.
On what keeps her motivated to remain on her natural hair journey…
“I haven’t straightened my hair since my college graduation. I absolutely do not feel compelled to straighten out my hair.”
“What keeps me going is: this is me. This is really something that’s a part of me. And I want to experience it all the way through. Naturally curly hair is so experimental. You can do tons of things to your hair without straightening it. Bantu knots, twist outs, two strand twists. I’m in a stage where I’m really into plopping. I’ve kind of given up doing a ton of manipulation to my hair. I used to call myself the “shingling queen!” I think it’s so cool that natural hair can be so versatile even at this day and age.”
“I’m loving the journey, I’m loving the ride.”
On becoming a full-time Content Creator during the Coronavirus pandemic…
“I got laid off in March from my previous job at a Chiropractor’s office. Honestly I didn’t take the pandemic as seriously as I should have in the beginning. I was under the impression that I’ll be back at work in two weeks, and then it had gotten bad.
I have been really blessed. This isn’t my first year of creating, I had been doing this [ content creation ] for 5 years, so I have clients, I have contacts. I’m just super fortunate and humbled to make the same amount of money I was making when I lost my job. I was really stretching myself thin at that point.”
“It was a push. It was the next thing to pivot me. I was like you know what I’ve been thinking about this, and I really think the calling for me was to go ahead and trust my gut, trust my intuition and really step into this and see what my potential is doing this full time as opposed to doing it on a small basis.
I remember very candidly waking up at 5am to finish campaigns. It’s something I really enjoy. I really do love accentuating my creativity showing what I do and serving the people who follow me.”
“My mindset just changed and I’m like you know what I’m going to make sure the people who I already have a relationship with know that I’m here, that I’m viable, and it went off from there. It turned out better than I could’ve ever imagined. Life kind of forced me to be that way.“
On gaining experience at Moisture Love, a curly haircare brand…
“I was their social media guru. I did everything for their Facebook group. If you ever were associated with Moisture Love, I did all the PR (public relations) and marketing for them so you were probably talking to me whenever you needed anything from them.
That was a huge part of my story and I also got that relationship by Jeannell, their CEO, on a creator basis. I really love her product line, specifically her shampoo (Gentle Embrace). It’s still my favorite.”
“One of the things that I’m really good at is continuing to give that flame in a relationship. You’re never going to NOT hear from me. Whether it’s through a comment or a DM, sending you a random email, those things I feel are things a lot of people miss out on.”
On the top 3 qualities someone should develop and strengthen if they wanted to pursue content creation as a career…
“Know who you are and who you’re serving. On the brand side…what we’re looking for is consistency. Consistency on Instagram means posting daily, or posting as many times as you can.”
“The way a brand is looking at it is, if you’re consistently feeding your audience, that is what we want to be a part of. Consistency and good content. We don’t want to see filler content.”
“We want to see that you’re always impacting and there’s action to whomever you’re speaking to . If you’re posting a photo, give context to an emotion you’re feeling or what’s going on in your life.”
On posting consistently through batch processing…
“It’s hard to batch content if you don’t even know what your content pillars are. Each week, I’m always trying to have some type of bucket filled for the people who enjoy each type of my content pillars so they can feel like they’re getting value and they have a connection with me that’s going to last, still stay engaged and really enjoy my content.”
“Content pillars make it so easy to find examples of ideas and make plans for batching what you want to share.”
Content Pillars for Hair Influencers and Content Creators
On tools that every content creator should have…
- Notes: To write down notes and ideas at any given moment. Basic, but essential. Write specific things down.
- Grammarly: To ensure all your captions are well written and correct.
- Trello: To manage lists where you can check things off for every day of the week. You can also move lists/boards around.
- Retouch: To clean up photos before posting.
- Canva: To utilize as a graphic design software and schedule social posts.
All these apps mentioned are transferable between devices (mobile, tablet and desktop)! Apps range from free usage to paid access.
On tough moments she experienced in past content projects…
“Part of why I got into Content Coaching is because of the issues I’ve had with some past projects.”
“I had a brand I was really obsessed with and I thought that the relationship we had garnered could’ve went somewhere amazing, but it just didn’t work out because of the way that they treated creators.
They had an ambassador program where they paid creators. It was a monthly thing where you were required to post one thing per month. There were different incentives where you could do more to get more money.
After a month of enjoying the program, their process went out of wack and they wouldn’t pay creators or pay them very late (past 30 days).
One thing that rubbed me the wrong way with this brand was, they had a salon that opened up in Atlanta, Georgia. They invited me to come out for a free service and I thought it was really cool. I had known them previously as a small brand since it’s inception. I really loved that we get to grow together.
I was on my way to the spot. My GPS said I wasn’t going to get there on time. I called them to let them know. They answered and said they weren’t going to be there. Keep in mind they confirmed with me, letting me know that this was something that they wanted to do and I was devastated. It’s not something that I tolerate at all. I let them know how I felt and I cut ties.”
On standing up to brands…
“Brands think that we’re not equal, they think that they’re doing us a favor, but we have worth just as much as they do. Just because they’re a brand doesn’t mean they can treat you any type of way or gaslight you, tell you that your rate is too much or you shouldn’t be charging this based on your like/post ratio. What is a like/post ratio?! That’s not even how social media works anymore.
I see a lot of that and I want to empower creators to really educate themselves and that’s what I’m here for. To get you guys to understand that you have so much value.”
“We’re all-in-one. We’re doing something you can’t do on your own or without hiring a full department/team to tackle on. Content creation is a service. I think creators need to change the narrative. It’s not ok to not pay us.”
Hashtag Pairings for Hair Influencers and Content Creators
On the benefits of promoting other creators on her social…
“I love promoting creators that aren’t in the majority. We don’t get the same type of opportunities that our White counterparts do. It’s a fact. It’s important to address that and it’s important for other creators to see.”
“I think it really does create a ripple effect. I started it a couple months ago because I feel like it’s important to make sure that these creators see that they have value and to teach my audience as well.”
“Creators work really hard and they deserve to be seen by other people.”
On being a part of an emerging community online and offline…
“A friend and I started a group, “The Curly Connection,” in college. A space where we talked about our hair struggles and did product swaps. It was a great idea in college given students don’t have time or money to pay for expensive products. It was a really cool way to engage and connect with an audience that I’m already a part of in a real life basis.”
“I’m very much involved in the skincare community. I suffer from eczema. I suffer from hormonal acne. I have deep pitted scars on my skin. It’s so nice to be around people who get it.”
“Seeing the people that you feature on API Curls is so nice because it’s not something I would normally see just scrolling through my feed. I think that’s a special benefit: getting a peek as to how other people live, how other people can create something meaningful for them.”
On one of Flo’s client projects that she’s proud of…
“I am a cruelty free creator and strict on what I use. Sometimes, I’m shunned out from using particular things because of conglomerates and the way that animal testing is. I wanted to open myself to looking at and seeing other brands that were more aware of that, are conscious of it, and also pertain to me and my curls.
Camille Rose is one of those brands. They’re Black owned and I feel like it was so important for me to peer into them and the first one I tried that I really really enjoyed was their Coconut Water line.
As you know, I’m the Pitching Queen so I pitched them. I told them that their product was something I really enjoy that I really resonated with and I pitched a 3-month deal with them to try out some of their stuff and show to my audience.
I was so proud of myself because it was my first time putting myself in that space. It made me feel good in the fact that I did that on my own and that I was intentional about that. Speaking things into existence!”