Over the last week we’ve seen domestic terrorists across our television screens. It’s 2017, not 1917 and there are Nazis and Klu Klux Klan members being awarded permits to demonstrate. Again, it’s 2017, not 1917 when Charlottesville mirrors a scene from our history books. What should Black millennial protests look like in today’s society? And, how do we thrive and handle our businesses in such a time? We should use our business to protest. Black financial freedom and wealth could be the answer to many of our problems, such as, moving the right people in and out of the White House. If we built another Black Wall Street, we could essentially fund our hospitals, our schools, and employ our people. We could build more power, leverage, real sustainability and social change. It’s easy to fall into the slumps of overwhelm right now, but I challenge you in these moments to re-energize your focus, your business and our people.
There was a time when I believed the best social justice happened in the streets, but really it happens in our bank accounts as well. It’s hard to protest and then go back home living paycheck to paycheck, and expect real sustainable change for our community. Black millennials don’t have the luxury of social security and other aids our grandparents had, but, we do have social media.
It was May 6, 2016 that I went from Dar Mayweather Ph. D student and working a full-time job to Dar Mayweather, millennial entrepreneur, founder of Good Mayweather Consulting, LLC – where we’re all about doing the good work of teaching diversity and inclusion to leaders. I spent years posting on social media about my passions regarding social justice, and finally made it a side hustle – one that prioritized making change with just as much passion as making a dollar. I looked up 8 months later and had reached over 20,000 people and added $20,000 to my bank account with a purpose-led side hustle. Now, I’m teaching other millennials and marginalized voices to do the same with my free webinar Hashtag To Cash. I know we need this the most.
“What am I best at? What problem can I solve?… And then, start telling the world,” proclaimed Gary V. on his Breakfast Club interview that’s received over 400,000 views since it aired last Spring. I sat up that night taking personal inventory of what I knew, the next day I launched my consulting firm. I felt a call to do good for my community while still building financial security. With Trump headlines and social injustice claiming the majority of our news, it’s hard for us all not to.
The problem is we’re often led to believe only nonprofits can be about the work needed in our communities, that if you’re making money it’s not really about the culture. There must be a paradigm shift that looks at social entrepreneurship as a way to financial freedom and sustainable social change. Social entrepreneurship marries profitability, social justice, innovation, and public service.
We, social entrepreneurs, refuse to accept the status quo, are the people’s champ and are not just dreamers but doers. Yes, you can do good and make a profit; it’s been my business model for the past year.
I failed multiple times in the process, but it wasn’t until the Gary V. Breakfast Club interview that my life changed forever. When I started my company, I had no strategy, no plan, but fast forward to Spring 2017 and my side hustle had reached numbers a new entrepreneur could only dream of. I knew I did something special with my branding, message, and most importantly my life’s calling and I believe we’ll all have success stories when we commit to a cause.
Did you know that #BlackLivesMatter has been one of the most successful, profitable hashtags? You can be about the work and create wealth in your community.
But how? Becoming a social media maverick has, at times, gotten a negative connotation. We think about the Kardashians or Instagram models selling Flat Tummy Tea, but there’s another side of social media for social good and it doesn’t take 10,000 followers to be impactful! That is what’s unique about my story, right now I have 1,145 followers and still brought in over $20,000 and have spoken in front of over 20,000 people while being a full-time Ph.d student, husband, new father, educator, and now millennial entrepreneur. Ultimately, the goal is not just to make money, the goal is to make IMPACT in the culture that is dire today! While it may take longer to build, it is a lot harder to tear down when profits begin coming in. “Cashtags” helped me reach those profits.
So, here’s the thing Instagram users like more than 4.2 billion posts daily. Last year, an estimated 48 percent of brands used Instagram, a number expected to rise to 70 percent this year. Posts with at least one hashtag (just one) averaged 12.6 percent more engagement than ones without. We live in a hashtag economy. Right now in the midst of frustrations we are hashtagging #ThisIsNotUs and #Charlottesville and still #BlackLivesMatter. We can and must use social media to build awareness, to shift culture and do so by also building Black financial freedom. Social media has leveled the playing field for access to a growing audience, however many small businesses and social entrepreneurs still fumble online. Cashtags are a part of my research-based hashtag marketing systems that will help your business gain greater visibility online. My business’ cashtag is #DoingtheGoodWork. A profitable cashtag motivates, inspires action, and is aligned to solving a social problem.
Still in the early social entrepreneur stage? Here’s how to start:
- Ask yourself, what social issue am I most passionate about and how can my best professional skills help solve the social problem? Maybe you’re an accountant that can teach marginalized communities about financial planning and well-being or a writer that can help your audience tell their stories for social good.
- Become an expert on the topic. You should choose a social issue that you want to know the ins and outs about. For me, issues of diversity and inclusion in business and higher education was an area I felt called to. Not only that, I have degrees and professional experience in this space. I wanted to know all there was about the problem and to help people solve it.
- Build your revenue generators. How will people pay you for helping solve this problem? I go speak at colleges and universities across the country, lead workshops for corporations, one on one coaching and more!
- Find your people. Once you’ve solidified your business offering to create social change, it’s time to secure your audience. Who has the problem you’ve been created to solve? Who is an influencer who can help you solve this problem?
- Create uniquely aligned content and give your best stuff away for free! Really, don’t yellow-tape what will truly help your audience, instead give away your best strategies and build loyalty and trust.
Already launched, here’s how to begin formulating your “Cashtag:”
Cashtags are my secret weapon to accelerating your message and marketing. Cashtags are an “in the act of” hashtag that generates awareness of your services and products, such as #DoingTheGoodWork or #ShareACoke. So, you’re already an entrepreneur but having problems securing clients using your current social media strategy. Here’s how to start thinking about your unique cashtag.
- What phrase could be used as your company’s slogan, be concise, catchy, relevant, and aligned to the problem you solve? #DoingtheGoodWork has been successful because we all want to feel as though we are doing the good work in every profession for every person. It creates community and is both aspirational and inspirational, while actionable.
- Join the public conversation with your cashtag. Look up five articles and photos that you like, that relate to your problem, and see if you can tell a story with that article while using your cashtag.
- Post uniquely based content on each platform EVERYDAY! If you’re thinking to yourself, I don’t know where to find something to post everyday then that’s probably not the right social issue for you to help solve.
Whether you’re just starting out and overwhelmed about how you’ll solve a problem and reach your people or you’ve been at it for years and missing real impact – there is a method to helping our communities and creating wealth. The list above is a small preview on how to get started, but I delve deeper into the how-to in my new online course. If you’d like to know what it takes to create a powerful, profitable Cashtag join me in my Free Webinar “Hashtag to Cash: The Small Business Crash Course to Social Media Branding for Social Impact” and of course keep #DoingtheGoodWork with me on social media