Business Bites Episode 126: How Businesses Can Use Their Platforms for Change

How Businesses Can Use Their Platforms for Change

Episode 126 on the Business Bites Podcast

The Gist Of This Episode:  Our country is in the middle of a long overdue conversation about people…who people are and why they matter. This has sparked a lot of passionate voices on both sides of the conversation being heard. But how do we as entrepreneurs and fellow humans decide how and when to speak out ourselves or if we even “should” speak out? Rachel invited her friend and social media strategist, Kia Young, to come on this episode to help show us her perspective as a black woman and fellow entrepreneur so we can be more in tune to what is needed as we are faced with these uncomfortable conversations.

 

What you will learn: 

  • why being an entrepreneur or leader gives you the responsibility to teach people
  • the importance of building up an authentic community and showing up as your true self
  • why it’s ok if you lose followers due to your stance on things
  • three ways you can speak up 
  • and more!

Expand To Read Episode Transcripts

Rachel Brenke:
Welcome to episode 126 of the Business Bites Podcast. I am your host, Rachel Brenke. And today I’m joined with one of my favorite people in the industry, Kia Young. She is a social strategist and mentor who doesn’t just love helping business owners, but she’s obsessed with helping them focus on #whatmattersmost. The goal is to build a thriving online community that converts. I love her agency, the Social Crown, because it supports service-based businesses, personal brands and nonprofits internationally.

I also love her cause she’s a fellow military spouse. They currently live in Maryland, and I hope she stays there so we can meet up for crab cakes soon. She also has a big family like me and loves puppies and loves tacos. So Kia, welcome to the show.

Kia Young:
Thank you so much for having me and I have great news. We are settling in Maryland.

Rachel Brenke:
Woot, woo. We have to meet up soon.

Kia Young:
Well, thanks for having me, Rachel. I’m super excited to talk about this and talk with you.

Rachel Brenke:
Yeah. I’m so happy to connect with you. I had the pleasure of speaking at a conference/retreat that Kia is a head of. It’s the makeHer Retreat for military spouses. We did it last fall, and it was incredible. It was one of the most well done resources. And I think I even told you there that I wish that had been available when I was first starting out in business 15 years ago. And it would have been really nice to have that. And so of course, obviously I’ve always looked to you for social strategy and also asking tough questions about diversity. And right now we all know that there is a lot of talk going on.

There’s a lot of impassioned feelings online, and I wanted to bring you on to talk about how to speak out during current climates in tough situations. Before we get to that though, let’s just introduce how you got into this and kind of your story, and then we’ll dig into the meat of the topic.

Kia Young:
Yeah. So I officially quit corporate America back in 2012 on a whim. So that wasn’t even in the cards for me. My husband was deployed and realized that I was not valued where I was and I missed my kids. I saw them like an hour in the morning and a couple of hours before they had to go to bed at night and with him being deployed and some things happened at work where I was like, “I think that I’m just going to chart my own path.” And that was kind of solidified that summer when he came home and I realized we took a two-week vacation and I realized I would have never been able to do that if I were still employed in corporate America.

And I kind of made the decision then that I never wanted to have to ask permission to be with the people who mattered most to me and do the things that mattered most to me. So my journey of entrepreneurship looked a little different after that. I was a top leader with a direct sales company. Then I did some freelance writing and one of those clients, one of my writing clients asked me to take over their social media. Because she just noticed that I can really get conversations started just on my personal platform.

And like, “Take this over for me.” I was like, “Really? That’s a thing?” And she paid me for it. And when that contract was over, she was like, “You really should consider starting your own social media business.” And I was like, “That is a thing?” And she’s like, “It’s a thing.” So when she told me that and a week later, I launched the Social Crown, I got my first client on the day that I announced the business and it’s just been a fun ride ever since then. So it’s been the perfect combination of all the things that I love. You use my favorite word, which is obsessed.

And I really am obsessed with community and connection and real authentic. I can’t stand surface conversations or it just feels very tepid. So this is just my jam and I love getting into the psyche around what makes people take action. And so this is just kind of like the perfect storm of all the things that I’m obsessed with. So there you go.

Rachel Brenke:
Well, I love how you talk about you want to do things that make people take action, but it’s not just standing on the top of social media and yelling for action. You inspire a lot of action just by what you post on your own personal social media. We’re friends on Facebook and I get inspired just because the way that you uplift the community around you. And so, I can see all the things that other people are doing and that’s inspirational to me. I don’t need a huge call all the time, but the consistent output of that and showing how you’re a champion for community really is a good way I think to drive action.

So I love that. Not only are you putting out this content, especially this article that we’re going to talk about here in a second about speaking out about major issues. But even just when there’s not “major issues” that are being slammed and going along, but just the consistent uplifting of community is really encouraging.

Kia Young:
Well, thanks. I try. That’s what I try to do. You got to talk the talk and walk the walk if you’re going to be a social strategist, right?

Rachel Brenke:
Right. And that’s a good segue because one of the things and you and I know we’ve had conversations, I have come to you before and I may have not been perfect and being an ally, but I’ve always been trying. And I think this episode really is I want to give a platform and ways for entrepreneurs to speak out, especially now when exactly what you said in this article. And I’ll link this for you guys at rachelbrenke.com/epi126 it’s also at kiayoung.com. But it’s three ways to speak out. And you said by choosing silence, make no mistake, you are hurting your business. Do you want to expand a little bit on that? I’ll let you expand, then I’ll follow up with some questions.

Kia Young:
Yeah. So when we take on being an entrepreneur or being a leader, you’re taking on the responsibility to teach for people to have access to you. And they start to expect things from you as someone that they have trusted to be a leader to add value to their lives. So when you build a community, we do have a responsibility to show up and people are waiting to see how they react. That’s the definition of being an influencer and entrepreneurs can be influencers and vice versa.

So if you serve your community and I always feel if they know your heart and they know where you stand and you’ve kind of tested and tried all the things, grace kind of lives there. So if you’ve built that authentic community, we’re going to disappoint them in some way, shape or form. But because grace lives there, because you’ve shown up as your full self and they expect that from you, it’s harder to walk away from. And it’s harder for people to say, “I’m never going to do business with you again. I can no longer follow you because you have been authentic this whole time.”

So that saying that you teach people how to treat you goes for entrepreneurship too. We have taught them what to expect from us. So to go silent at that time, when they’re used to you speaking on the things that matter, you’re showing them exactly what matters to you and being silent right now is showing your true colors.

Rachel Brenke:
And one of the things that I’ve kind of struggle with is that I’ve been super vocal on my personal social media, right? And I’ve kind of always had this old school mentality of that politics, personal preferences. I mean, we’re talking deep personal preferences and allyship. Not like, “I like decaf coffee over regular coffee.” Always kind of was taught that that wasn’t to be publicly discussed. And so, and as a people pleaser you just said, you’re always going to disappoint somebody. And my heart goes … because I want to please everyone. And I think that it’s hard.

Rachel Brenke:
It’s hard, but it’s not, I hope I can communicate this properly. And that my heart’s in a good place with this is that it is hard to break. Not even just now, but in any climate, I think it’s hard to break from this conditioning that I feel we have been taught. And even, I think even more so five, 10 years ago on social media where everything was supposed to be neutral, everything was supposed to be happy go lucky. So for me, that’s something that I have fought with and I’ve especially fought that recently when I’ve had people challenge me, because I’ve stood up, I’m like, “Screw it. You know what? You don’t like what I stand for whatever.” But I’ve had people ask me, “How does this even fit? What does this have to do with your business?” What do you say to someone that asked that question?

Kia Young:
Yeah, especially on the service-based business side, right? Like having a personal brand. Part of that is who you are. They do business with you, they could choose a ton of different attorneys. They choose you because they like Rachel. And that’s a huge part of building a community. So it has a lot to do with it, especially if you’re on this service-based side. People being authentic and true to who you are is just a natural continuation with businesses. So it has a lot to do with it. But even more than that, this whole conversation around race itself is just uncomfortable period.

But I think people have because it’s uncomfortable, people have locked it into, “Oh, it’s political,” but it’s not wanted.

Rachel Brenke:
No. Not at all.

Kia Young:
That’s like your neighbor. This is people and humans and that is not political. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I feel this conversation is at a boiling point, but it’s something that we’ve been gravitating toward much longer than the last couple of weeks. I mean, I would even say that it started during the 2008 presidential election around the topic of a national conversation around race, right? And so we’re at this boiling point, but it’s always been an uncomfortable topic and I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but I think it’s more uncomfortable for white people.

Rachel Brenke:
A 100%, 100%.

Kia Young:
Always because you’ve been conditioned, as you said. You don’t talk about it. You don’t see race. You don’t talk about it. On the flip side for people of color or black people in particular, I mean, we start talking about race from the very beginning with our children. It’s been a community conversation between us and social media has kind of forced us to have this conversation and it’s uncomfortable on both sides and all sides it’s been uncomfortable.

I’m sure you’ve heard this and thought this as an entrepreneur and a leader yourself that the most magical things happen outside of your comfort zone. Even past last week, I’m already starting to see some really beautiful things happen on the other side of this conversation. Well, we’re still having it. But even now just a week later, a few days, some really great things are coming from it. And I think if we tap into that uncomfortableness, just like we tell leaders to do that, you know it’s going to be uncomfortable and you have to kind of just work through it. It’s the same concept.

Rachel Brenke:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative). And one of the that I love about this and you kind of, I think snuck this in a little bit ago is that this is very defining of who you are and I think you and I even had this conversation maybe at the retreat is that I was already feeling a little lost in my identity online. And I realized, because I wasn’t really truly speaking out with who I was. I was trying to walk that tightrope of appeasing everybody. And I had even done a post a couple of weeks ago and I was calling out other white industry leaders.

Because I was like, “Y’all, I’m standing up. Y’all need to stand up.” Yes, maybe because I’d feel a bit more comfortable too. But selfishly, we always want people to stand up with us, but just like you said, I feel this is a conversation that has been needed to be done. And I am encouraged and I hope that you feel the same way. And I hope that it continues that perhaps social media really can gravitate more towards a really true, authentic. We kind of throw around the word authentic, but how many are really putting authentic self out there? Because if you had asked me a year ago, I’d have been like, “Yeah Kia, I’m authentic.” But was I really digging into who I was online? I don’t think so.

Kia Young:
Yeah. I think that word authentic is hard for people because we hear it and we know we’re supposed to be in it, but nobody really talks about what that actually means to be authentic. And then there’s this kind of pull on if you’re authentic, you’re going to lose followers. But I like to make a case for your followers don’t necessarily equal your community, right? Your community is something completely different. Those are the people who are going to show up for you, who are giving you referrals, who believe, they’re raving fans, they’re obsessed with you, right?

That’s your community. They’re reading all your emails. They’re listening to your podcast. Those are your people. And guess what? They are only your people because they already know. They already know you. So however you show up and how you have been showing up, they have this expectation of you kind of continuing the same or at least being super true to who you are. And so it’s not a huge pivot for them. So losing followers doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost your community because chances are your community-

Rachel Brenke:
They weren’t your community to begin with.

Kia Young:
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.

Rachel Brenke:
I posted a big old piece out to people that have sent me negative stuff the other day I was like, “I just don’t give a anymore.

Kia Young:
Right. Right and you can. And the truth is Ben and Jerry’s is a great example of this, right? They have always been down. They have always been very vocal about Black Lives Matter and what’s considered controversial topics.

Rachel Brenke:
Oh, they went into burn this to the ground.

Kia Young:
But they always have, right? They have always been that. And so the people who didn’t know that about Ben and Jerry’s, I don’t know. How they’re like, “Oh, we’re done. We’re boycotting whatever. We’re not going to do it.”

Rachel Brenke:
Where have you been?

Kia Young:
But the people who loved it or who were exposed to it didn’t know that, “Oh, I saw everyone. I’m only buying Ben and Jerry’s now.” So just because you have repelled the people that aren’t your people, that can still be a good thing. You could still have and maybe even be better positioned, right? To repel the people that aren’t your people that shouldn’t be here and make room for your voice to actually get out to the people that it’s meant to get out to. Because honestly, having a bunch of followers who aren’t engaging with your content, guess what? That’s actually damaging your brand anyway.

We want to get down to the technical parts of social media and how the algorithm works. You want to get rid of those people who’ve just been casually following you, but never engaging in your content. So being able to say something that makes them make a choice of like, “Yes, Rachel thinks how I think, and I’m all in, in her community” or “No, this is not for me.” It’s actually a really good thing. So don’t be afraid of that because you’re building your true community and usually that will convert better for you. If we want to talk about business, than having a whole bunch of people who aren’t really your people.

Rachel Brenke:
I mean, hello, lower ad spend. But even just from outside the business aspect, I mean, that’s kind of something that I’ve really had my heart awakened to through a lot of traumatic events I’ve had in the last just six months. I mean, I will say I was given the platform. Not that I didn’t have to work for it, but for me within the last few weeks is like if I’m not going to stand up, I’m going to do a couple of things.

1. I’m going to waste the platform that I have and 2. It’s exactly what you talked about in the article. And this is the quote. “Would you rather tell them and show them explicitly what they need to know about you or give them space to make their own assumptions? As a social strategist, trust me, you don’t want them to make their own assumption”, which is totally true.

Kia Young:
Right. When you give people the space to decide who you are is when we really get into disappointment, right? Because they have created this figure that is probably an impossible standard to live up to anyway. So being able to say emphatically, “This is who I am” and leave no room for confusion is always a good thing.

Rachel Brenke:
And one thing that I was thinking about as I was preparing for this episode is even going into this I was like, “Kia knows me. Kia knows my heart, but how tough do I want the conversation to be?” And then that leads me into thinking of … Whatever. I’m going to put this out there, whether we edit this or not, but you and I can talk about it off the air. I feel a lot of white industry leaders like myself are unsure how to take the next steps and speak out, right? They can buy in, they hear, we don’t want assumptions. We want to know what your heart is. We want to be authentic, but we don’t know which way is up sometimes.

And one hand of me is like, “Well, I obviously don’t want to put that burden on my black friends.” And the other side is, but there’s like 500 bazillion articles out there that are all competing. And of course me in Rachel fashion, I’m like, “Okay, I’ll do what I do.” But then it also circles back to, I want to do what’s right because I know my perspective is tainted a bit. Right? It is washed a bit. So what would your recommendation be for those that are like, “Okay, I’m on board, Kia. Let’s take these assumptions off the table. I want to speak out, but how do I do this correctly?”

Kia Young:
Yeah. So the first step is deciding how you want to speak out. And so that would go into the three types of speak ways to speak out, but we’ll get into that. But I think the most natural, organic thing to do right now is to be truthful. So this is your moment to be authentic of, “Okay, I am reconciling this within myself.” Right? I found out some things about myself that I didn’t like. It’s ugly. I’m embarrassed by it. I’m committing to do better.

I am also going to take the time to make sure that I do this right. So what I can tell you is this. I recognize that this is where I am. I am committed to changing that behavior and I’m committed to surrounding myself in an environment where I can learn more, absorb more. And this isn’t something that I can send a document out and/or an email out in two days and saying, “This is what I’m going to do.” This is a constant life commitment for me right now. So it’s going to ebb and flow and it’s going to look different depending on what’s happening. So I think that what I saw on my side was a lot of people working really fast to tell us all the things that they’re were doing. And I could not cringe more last week.

Rachel Brenke:
Oh, I’m sorry.

Kia Young:
Don’t be sorry, because-

Rachel Brenke:
I’m apologizing for all people who can’t figure this out right now.

Kia Young:
Everyone was doing reconciling last week. So I also realized that I have to step away from judging and really look at it at what is the heart behind this? And then also my commitment is to watching you. So if you’ve told me that you’re going to do these things, okay. In 2022, I still expect to see those things.

Rachel Brenke:
I just got chills when you said that, but it’s true. That’s kind of been my thing. As I put a poll on Twitter and I asked, “Are you going to choose to buy or not buy from a company based on putting them out a corporate statement?” And actually majority of people said, “No, that wouldn’t make a difference.” But the followup comments were exactly what you just said. It was about identifying the actions that would be consistent after that.

Kia Young:
Right. Right. I got a lot of people saying that, “They were going to create scholarships” and you might edit this out. It doesn’t matter to me, but just on the real. And to me, that was the one thing that made me cringe most, right? We’re creating these scholarships for black women and I’m like, “Guys, I get it.” You want to do something quick, but we are also not charity. That is not what this is about. I can afford to buy your course, your product, whatever. You’re going to have to earn me buying it.

You putting out a scholarship is not going to change everything. And it also we start getting into the white savior. Oh-

Rachel Brenke:
That’s exactly what I was going to ask.

Kia Young:
Right. Yeah. But my commitment was when I saw that to go to those influencers, those entrepreneurs and say, “Hey, I see you trying to do great.” Think about this. And you might decide to still go with it. That is your business. I just want to give you some insight on how reading that, that you’re creating a scholarship after 24 hours of this national conversation on race for black women comes across as really just, “Oh, I’m doing some charity work.” Instead of doing the real work or continuing work. I had some really great conversations from some people that I already admired and respected.

So we’ll see. We’ll see where it goes. But I do know, again, going back to when you have served your community, grace lives there. So I know that they weren’t doing it from a place of malice and they thought that it was the right thing and maybe it is the right thing for them. And that’s what they decide after taking some time to think about it. It’s like a little minefield. You have to kind of be careful that you’re not coming across as trying to save the world.

Me and my friend had a good laugh because we kept seeing a lot of people saying, “Oh, I want to share your voice with the world.” And I thought, girl, I have more … What are you talking about? What are you talking about?” This is asking us to work together like truly work together. That’s what this is about. This is not about you saving me or people that look like me.

Rachel Brenke:
Well and that’s the thing. You keep saying this phrase of national conversation. And so it almost makes it sound like it’s one conversation, but it’s not. It’s like an umbrella of a menagerie of conversations. And what you’re talking about is I’ve seen direct conflicts in groups. I mean, Facebook Groups are imploding. I mean, think about it. It’s not like all white people and all black people got together in their own conventions and decided, “Okay, this is how we’re going to help. This is what we’re going to do.” Everyone’s a different person. So the way that you would take something, someone else may not take that. And the way that I may convey something, someone else may convey it a different way.

So that’s why I love that you keep circling around grace and maybe it’s a little too late for some people, at least right now. They may not have provided some authenticity right before that, but now’s a good time to really start moving forward with it. I mean, because I know I’ve had big pushbacks of not even people like upset that I’m bringing the narrative of Black Lives Matter into my brand and everything, but their questions are like, “How does this fit into your teachings?”

Well, for me, legal, it’s kind of easy. I can come up with a variety of things, but there are some industries or companies out there that how would they answer that question? I mean, what would you advise them in that situation? I mean, I can see the answer, but I want to hear what you have to say.

Kia Young:
Yeah. And it was pretty interesting with me. Obviously, we have clients all on the service-based personal brand side, but still very different industries, right? From travel and Disney to like [inaudible 00:25:28] right? So it was interesting to just navigate from a professional standpoint. Okay, how do we do this? And so I really think I tried to relate it back and that’s why I ended up writing the piece. Because I had to sit down and be like, “Okay, how are my clients? How are we going to show up for my clients right now?” And really, if it isn’t a true fit, I think that’s when that subtle speaking can come in.

So the three ways I say that you can show up or as a bold speaker, as a subtle speaker and I want to add a caveat to that. That subtle does not mean meek or it doesn’t mean that what you’re saying isn’t powerful. It just is showing up in a very different way. And then the third way to show up is as a facilitator. And so that bold speaker, most of the time it fits perfectly, a perfect puzzle piece into what you’re doing. Just like you say, you’re an attorney there’s legal. It definitely makes sense for you to be talking about that.

My Disney agency? Not so much. Not so much. So it’s about intersection. And so what I tried to do is figure out like, “Where does what we do fit into this conversation? And what already exists, whether it’s a quote that can give us some inspiration of what to say and how to say it. So there’s a lot of thought behind it, but it doesn’t have to be that perfect puzzle piece for you especially when at the end of the day, we’re all serving people. So there’s no way that this conversation doesn’t include you.

It doesn’t matter what you do unless you’re not serving people. And at the end of the day, who’s not serving a person on the other end of whatever transaction you have? Whether it be service or product. And because this is a people issue, then everything fits.

Rachel Brenke:
Yes. That’s why when people come at me with like, “Keep politics off. I’m like, “This ain’t politics.” And I go on my whole rant. “This is people. This is heart.” And they never hardly ever have anything to say in return because how are you going to respond when you say it’s a heart-people issue?

Kia Young:
Yeah. I mean, that’s the reconciliation moment for them and I’m glad you say it because it is. It’s one of those uncomfortable things that we’re not supposed to talk about. So they hear race they lump it with politics. And so it has to be political or religion, right? You’re not supposed to talk about those things, but when you drill down to it just being a human, who can fight that? Who can argue with that? You can’t.

Rachel Brenke:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). So I want to circle back to what we were talking about kind of seeing action. Obviously, everyone’s in this sprint mode of and I do believe, and I try to give a lot of people benefit of the doubt that it is in their heart. Either they’ve had a change of mind or if they’re really wanting to step up and I had my own introspection of how I could do more and that’s wonderful. But looking forward, how would you advise people in context of their social media? And I say strategy, but I don’t really want to mean it with the end result of gaining business.

I really need it in like putting their heart out there and putting a line in the sand of what they stand for. How would you suggest they start injecting this? Because I don’t know. For me, I had always tried to include diversity, but I’m white. So my photos of myself are going to be white. So I would try to use stock photos to show diversity. And I think you and I had this conversation, I was like, “Is this disingenuous for me to put a black girl here?” Because it’s normally my brand is me. And so are we talking low key stuff like that? Or what would you suggest social media strategy over the long-term? Do you want to see more overt actions?

Kia Young:
Yeah. So I think that it has to, whatever it is, it has to be organic, right? So if you look back at your last 27 posts, your last 27 posts, if you’re mainly showing you and your family, and that’s what your community is used to, don’t post a black person all of a sudden. Really find those areas where you can collaborate organically with someone of color. What might happen is your social media images might still look very close to what they look like right now, but who’s on your podcast?

When you’re using stock photos in your blog post, what stock photos are you using? You know what I mean? There are so many different ways when you have your next big collaboration, a project that you want to bring in another entrepreneur with. Who is that person? So it might not happen today. Your social media feed might look really close to what it looks like now. But if someone pushes back on you, you’ll be able to say, “Well, I have this thing planned with this person. And I’m working on my podcast was like 10 …” And I’m not using you as an example, I’m just saying-

Rachel Brenke:
You can if you need to.

Kia Young:
Before it had 10% women of color and now I’ve intentionally made sure that I include more women of color that are on my podcast. So it might look a little different and it might take some time for you to get there. I would rather you make a plan, start taking action that might not be performative. I might not be able to see it right now. But if I asked you a question, you can say, “I’m doing this, this and this and that it’s coming.”

Because like I said, this is a long-term commitment and posting something this week, none of that is impressive. This is the long game.

Rachel Brenke:
Let’s say that again. Just because you posted a black square last Tuesday, that’s not impressive.

Kia Young:
Not at all. So I would just say, start, not necessarily thinking about this. And I know I’m a social strategist, but I also think about everything. So your entire online digital footprint, what does that look like? And making sure that it aligns. And so it’s bigger than your social media or your Instagram feed. It is so much bigger than that. It is how you’re choosing to do business, right? Who you are working with, who you’re collaborating with, who are you elevating?

And so that might not look so different today, tomorrow, next week. But over the long-term, it will look different and it will feel different too.

Rachel Brenke:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And one thing that I’ve noticed, I don’t know if you’ve seen this from being in groups is I’m finding that it’s more white attacking white and trying to put the voice like speak for my black friends. And I want to be like, “White girl, sit down.” But at the same time, I’m here trying to speak up too. So I have to remind myself and I guess for me, what I have been encouraging my fellow white influencers, industry leaders is provide the platform. Obviously not in a tokenizing manner like what you’re talking about. Like a long-term provision of platform over time and make that commitment to diversity.

And because I feel I looked, I sat and thought about this a lot because I wanted to make sure that if I’m going to speak out, I also need to make sure I’m being effective and kind with the way I’m speaking out. And obviously I’m still learning in this. But I know for me, what’s the statement? It’s not enough to be against racism. You have to be anti-racist and to be not racist, you have to be anti-racist. And for me, that is kind of really what made me go, “Whoa.” I felt if you had asked me even a couple months ago, I would have said, “Yeah, I’m injecting diversity into my plan and I’ve been doing that for years.”

But was I really, truly being actively anti-racist when that is a core piece of who I am and what I want to project. So that is a question that I want to put out for those that are listening. And we say white industry leaders, but if you have social media, you have some followers, if you have friends, you have a platform.

Kia Young:
Absolutely.

Rachel Brenke:
So use it.

Kia Young:
For sure. Yeah. It’s such a hard thing to navigate, but again, it’s so funny about what you were saying in groups and everybody just wanting to tear each other up on black women’s behalf. I don’t know if you know many black women, but we’re pretty good at being able to stand up and talk for ourselves. It’s just a subtle navigation. You don’t want to come off performative. Something that I have learned is if you’re too angry, no one can hear you, right?

Rachel Brenke:
So you’re telling me to scale it back a little bit?

Kia Young:
No, that’s not what I’m saying.

Rachel Brenke:
I’m kidding.

Kia Young:
I’m just saying if everything’s an argument, then nothing’s an argument.

Rachel Brenke:
Well, it goes back to this is really a hard issue, then speak with the heart.

Kia Young:
Exactly. Absolutely. I mean, that’s just as plain as it can get. And at the end of the day, we just want more education and for more people to understand. And it’s hard to do that on social media and it’s even harder if you’re coming at it from an angry place. I think when black people are talking about racism, it can be off putting and you might feel shame around it. Your first action might be to get defensive. I think where our allies can step in is they might be more open to hearing it And so I think that’s where allies can be helpful. But at the end of the day, we’re all able to speak out for ourselves.

We just want you to speak your truth, speak truth to power. And it doesn’t have to be on my behalf specifically. Just on the behalf of us all just trying to be good humans and raise good humans.

Rachel Brenke:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Which kind of brings us full circle to this whole three ways to speak out. Like I said, I’m going to link this article. It’s great that Kia put out. And obviously her social media services, especially during this time and going forward, because you guys are going to make your plans now after listening. She is a great person to provide some great strategic input, especially including anti-racism and diversity and inclusion into your social media marketing plan. But I would encourage that we kind of just ended it on this whole it is a hard issue. Encourage you not to look at this just as a business strategy thing.

Am I going to pacify my customers? Because as I’ve talked about on the podcast and I always try to bring to the forefront, even though I talk about legal and marketing and all of this at the end of the day, my business is so I can have a life. And in the last few weeks, my eyes has even been opened is that I have a business so others can have a life too.

And that doesn’t mean necessarily that you’re live, but so that they can have a life that they want. So I can help to be a part of that. And I really think many people underestimate the way that you can do good through your business. You don’t have to go open up a charity. You don’t have to do a nonprofit. You don’t have to get a bill passed. You still can do grassroots ground floor change through social media postings.

Kia Young:
Yes you can. We just all witnessed it happen.

Rachel Brenke:
And incredible. Incredible. Well Kia, thank you so much for your time. I know that you’re extremely busy right now. And I mean, as always, you have done wonderful things and I appreciate you being a wonderful friend to me answering these tough questions for me. I hope that you guys listening really, really got some good knowledge out of this. What we’re going to do is stick it to rachelbrenke.com/epi126 because it’s episode 126. I’m going to link all of Kia’s stuff there as well. Her Social Crown site, all of the links directly to how you can find her. A lot of great stuff.

If you guys have any questions at all, please feel free to also jump into the Business Bites Podcast group on Facebook. Obviously, this is a subject matter that is really important to business and life. So we are definitely going to have a thread dedicated to it and we would love to hear what you’re doing to enact change in your business on these national conversations.

Featured Guest & Resources

Kia Young is a Social Strategist and Mentor obsessed with helping business owners focus on #WhatMattersMost to build a thriving online community that converts. Her agency, The Social Crown, supports service based businesses, personal brands, and non-profits internationally.



Her family currently resides in Maryland and she’s almost positive it’s their forever home, as her husband inches closer to retiring from the Army. She’s Mom to 3 plus Loki the Goldendoodle. Chances are VERY HIGH that right now she’s planning her next trip to Disney World while eating tacos.

You can find Kia here:
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Facebook
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About the author

Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke

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