It is on top of everyone’s mind right now to be actively supporting Black designers. In a white washed industry, it’s up to fellow designers to actively support Black interior designers. We have seen list after list come out this week of designers to follow. But it takes a lot of intention and daily practice to actively amplify Black designers.
Black designers have been creating killer content consistently forever, but algorithms and laziness have prevented the world from seeing their work. As a creative studio specialized for interior designers, we have compiled 6 steps that make the most impact on supporting fellow designers long-term. Visibility and growth as an interior designer that have true longevity takes multiple avenues. It’s more than sharing re-grammed images on Instagram, or a simple follow.
It takes daily, actionable steps to help support a fellow designer. None of these steps take much time and each step is something that equally helps your own organic growth. These steps increase your engagement, creates evergreen content, and keeps your social profiles regularly active. Here is how to begin.
With so many publications currently sharing Black designers work, it’s easy to Pin directly from those articles. Be more intentional and click through to that designer’s Portfolio or Instagram feed and Pin directly from there. That way, the designer benefits from the web traffic directly, not the publication sharing them.
Found a Black designer you absolutely love? You can batch schedule Pinning all of their portfolio using Tailwind. This will spread the Pins out over time, ensuring more visibility and longevity for the designer.
Black designers and content creators are wildly underrepresented in the sponsored content industry, as a result of systemic racism. To help combat that, show potential sponsors how much you love their content by actively commenting on their blog. This deep level of engagement is a high selling factor as content creators, and can help secure future paid collaborations.
You’ve probably heard “Your email list is the only list you actually own.” That means, no matter how many followers someone has on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest, they have no way of connecting with you if those platforms were to shut down. By subscribing to a Black designers’ email newsletter list, you are ensuring that you can always hear their voice and see their work.
It is also a handy reminder directly in your inbox when a new project is revealed, so you can go back to Step 1 and Pin their work.
This step may not be as obvious. If a designer shares a specific product link, they likely are earning a sales commission using RewardStyle. The key here is that you MUST purchase directly from their link in order for them to earn that commission. For instance, if you swipe up from an Instagram Story, fall in love with a chair, then pull the same chair up on your laptop later to make the purchase, THEY WILL NOT EARN A COMMISSION.
Look around on their website to see if they have a list of product resources you can shop from. You can also open their Stories on your laptop and click the link from there. The key is, you HAVE to use their direct link.
Instagram’s algorithm is unintentionally contributing to the racist habits of content consumption on their platform. It takes the content you engage with most frequently, and only shows you that. If you are not actively engaging with Black designers on Instagram, you will not see Black designers on Instagram.
Make sure to like, comment and save the posts of Black designers you are supporting. Not only does this tell Instagram this is content you WANT to see, it also increases the designer’s engagement rate. By increasing their engagement rate, their posts will also start to be shown more frequently in the “search” feed.
Most importantly, this step ensures that you are actively listening, conversing, and connecting with Black designers.
Until the algorithm is no longer racist, it’s going to take manual effort. Turn on Post Notifications for the Black designers you follow.
Navigate to their Instagram Feed
Click the dropdown menu on the “Following” button
Toggle on “Posts”
We are strong believers in a referral program for many reasons. Firstly, because not every inquiry is a perfect fit for you. Secondly, sometimes you don’t have the capacity to take on a new project. Also, you can agree to a referral program that earns you each a commission as you refer each other on projects.
If you’d like to contribute financially, the Black Artists & Designers Guild accepts both one time and recurring donations.