It’s not a stretch to say that multimedia journalist and entrepreneur Nana Agyemang (known as @itsreallynana on Instagram) became the voice of a social generation, in her pivotal role as the social media editor for The Cut. Her quick-witted writing skills and sharp tone of voice for The Cut’s captions defined and set the tone for the future of Instagram.
The proof is in the social media KPIs, and it’s also in the lasting impact Agyemang’s work has made.
“When I started my career in media — which has included writing for The New York Times, ELLE, Refinery29, and New York Magazine — I always noticed the lack of Black and Brown women in media and fashion positions,” Agyemang shares.
“When I was at The Cut, I increased their Instagram following through an 80% growth rate and doubled the audience from 500,000 to 1 million followers over the course of a year,” Agyemang says.
When she was hired, she was the first Black person on the social team — “And you better believe I hired other Black people to work with me once I was there! I recruited someone who now runs the account and she’s awesome.”
Agyemang identified a void — a lack of representation in media — and as a result, created a vision for her business.
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EveryStylishGirl (ESG) and EveryStylishGirl Biz, a platform, directory and community focused on advancing opportunities for women of color in fashion, business and beauty. EveryStylishGirl also operates networking conferences called Sip N’ Slay, which has welcomed guests and panelists in NYC, LA and DC, and whose virtual event during the pandemic saw attendance go from 200 women of color IRL, to 600 on a global scale.
Thanks to her social media savvy, Agyemang dropped an e-book this year, called Social Media Tips I Wish More People Knew About (in partnership with the social media platform Later).
“It has been such a crazy year, between focusing on building my business, expanding the EveryStylishGirl network, and launching my first e-book Social Media Tips I Wish More People Knew About. “This book is full of my best tips for people looking to monetize social media and build the business of their dreams.” Agyemang shares.
“This year it was also my honor to become a recipient of Ulta Beauty’s MUSE100 awards. I am really humbled by the ways EveryStylishGirl has reached such an incredible network of women of color globally, and having that work and message invested in is a true testament to the need for what we do.”
I caught up with CEO and founder ofAgyemang right before her Sip N’ Slay Event in her native country of Ghana taking place next week, to discuss her top tips for anyone looking to improve their social media game and her goal of offering ways for women to achieve their greatest potential.
Karin Eldor: The launch of your e-book this past year was a huge accomplishment. How did the e-book and partnership with Later come about?
Nana Agyemang: I have been wanting to write a book about my greatest tips for women looking to monetize social media and build their business in the way I have for a long time. Later is such a great company because they really invest in up-and-coming entrepreneurs. So, when this idea came up, I knew I had to take it!
This book is for people who are ready to invest in their goals. Who want to use social media to amplify their social media brand to make an impact. It’s for all the aspiring bosses out there who want to really hone in on what it takes to become your own boss. This book will help you create a growth strategy plan for your Instagram, increase your reach and engagement, and double your Instagram following, if you follow the tips.
Eldor: I know you applied tips on how to secure hotel partnerships — why has this been a critical tactic for you? I love that it allows you — and other women — to live their dream of traveling the world, while working from anywhere. And most importantly, making their dreams a reality.
Agyemang: We deserve all the luxury and rest we can get! I absolutely love to travel, and travel indulgently. Work hard to play harder! My biggest strategy here is to reach out. If you want something, go get it. With my hotel partnerships, I really started out by reaching out to the hotels and offering my talent while showcasing my admiration for their business. I take pride in creating authentic content and relationships within my community. I will never post something that I don’t 100% stand by. With these hotel partnerships, my goal is to showcase to women of color the luxury and experiences we deserve. It reminds us that rest is a priority and when you work hard for what you want, it pays off.
To secure my luxury hotel partnerships, I start by creating a media kit using Canva — you can find some free templates on the platform. I highly recommend a media kit if you want to appear professional and organized.
Your media kit should be your brand’s portfolio. Outline your bio, key facts about yourself, past partnerships and insights from your social media platforms. Your media kit shouldn’t be more than two pages.
Eldor: I know you’re coaching other women of color to use social media to build their own businesses. Why is this mission so important to you? I love that it’s tied to your personal experience.
Agyemang: There is so much untapped potential within the world of social media. Our stories are important to me, and the community I have built on Instagram and beyond gives me so much joy. In a world that lacks representation on the main stage so often, it is important to me to showcase and express the need for creators of color across this digital space. Our stories matter, and our representation matters.
Social media has been such a great tool to build my business and achieve so many of my goals. It brings me so much joy when I can offer resources for other women to do the same.
Eldor: Congrats on the Sip N’ Slay networking event you’re hosting in Ghana, featuring intimate conversations about building and scaling fashion and media brands in West Africa. Why was it important for you to host it in Ghana?
Agyemang: As a Ghanaian woman, it is incredibly important to me to build community and support the place that has given me so much. Back in 2019, I participated in The Year of The Return, a celebration of encouragement for members of the African Diaspora to return home to Ghana, and reconnect and immerse themselves in an incredible culture and way of life. That trip meant so much to me and only reinforced my commitment to the incredibly inspiring community of creatives, entrepreneurs and artists that live and come from there.
EveryStylishGirl is all about community, collective empowerment and inspiring women of color to celebrate each other, our ideas and accolades. With this conference, ESG hopes to connect creatives globally in Ghana to share resources, experiences, strategies, and ways to build lucrative brands in Ghana and beyond. We will be joined by an incredible lineup of speakers, Black-owned brands and top talent in the industry to share their stories, expertise and inspire us all. We also chose to have the event at a new luxury restaurant in Ghana called Kozo, to drive new communities and visitors to support local and new businesses.
Eldor: What do you have planned for 2022, which you can share?
Agyemang: We have a new and very interactive website on the way! We have been working relentlessly on it with an amazing female-founded design company called ilovecreatives. They transformed our platform into a one-stop shop for job posting, job searching and digital networking! It is a more refined continuation of building our directory’s reach across fashion and media companies so we can transform ESG into a career advancement network.
Eldor: What is your mantra? In both life and business…
Agyemang: Stick to your goal. A lot of people will share their ideologies and try to shape yours, but stick with your plan. Stay resilient and stay innovative. Change will come and you’ll succeed.