Jade Kendle-Godbolt on Pivoting Her Channel, YouTube Black Voices Creator Class of 2022 & The Black Creator Economy
Jade Kendle-Godbolt, previously known as LipsticknCurls, is a well-known creator who has been creating on YouTube and Instagram for over ten years. She recently joined the Board of Directors of the American Influencer Council as Vice President to champion mentorship for the next generation of career creators. Today, she shares her journey to pivot her channel’s niche, her experience being chosen for the YouTube Black Voices 2022 Class, and the Black creator economy.
Who is Jade Kendle-Godbolt?
Jade Kendle-Godbolt is a popular creator who used to go by the name, LipsticknCurls, online. In 2010, Jade started her YouTube channel and Instagram with a focus on makeup, beauty, and natural hair care.
When she started her YouTube channel, natural hair products weren’t widely available, and many people were just beginning to explore their natural hair texture. Jade’s timing gave her a lot of opportunities to work with brands.
She shares, “I was really part of that first kind of wave of influencers who figured out, this [content creation] can actually pay my bills. I can be paid for this, and so I went through that whole transition of doing content.”
Jade started working with brands in 2013 and with a manager in 2014. In 2016, Jade began working with an agency and received a significant opportunity to be in a global Colgate commercial, which also featured her name, giving her a lot of exposure.
Recently, Jade has changed her social media handles from LipsticknCurls to her married name, Jade Kendle-Godbolt.
“As all people do, we evolve, and so I started to recognize that my audience wasn’t broke college students anymore either. They were grown with kids and jobs, and you know my beauty routine started to dwindle in the time that I had to spend on it.”
With this name change came an adjustment to her content to make it more focused on sharing her life and being a “whole person” on social media.
Her most viral content to date has been videos focused on how to do box braids on yourself. Another more recent viral hit was a video sharing her natural water birth.
The American Influencer Council
Jade recently joined the Board of Directors of the American Influencer Council as Vice President to champion mentorship for the next generation of career creators. The American Influencer Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and mentoring the next generation of creators and advancing digital marketing education.
Being a part of the YouTube Black Voices Creator Class of 2022
Jade explains that the YouTube Black Voices Creator Class of 2022 is “a program that YouTube has committed itself to as part of the larger fund, where they are putting, I believe it’s a hundred million dollars over a span of years to help support Black creators on the YouTube platform.”
She notes that she is excited to be a part of this program because she’s received additional education on building an audience and best YouTube practices. In addition, she was given a detailed channel audit from her partner manager at YouTube.
“My partner manager actually deep-dived into my channel and was able to break down my analytics in a way that I would never be able, to give me insight on what my audience was telling me and what people were seeing when they came to my channel.”
Jade shares that one of the best parts of being part of the YouTube Black Voices 2022 class is the opportunity to rebirth her channel and help her audience see it as it is today, not just how it has been over her 12 years on the platform.
Building a Lasting Audience
It can be tempting to jump from trend to trend on social media, but Jade warns against it.
“The genuine connection you can build with your audience will carry far past any check a brand will give you because I’m telling you, and I tell people and creators all the time, the audience is there for you. If you create an environment where the audience is like I just love you as the person, and I don’t care what you promote.”
She shares that it’s crucial that brand deals are for products that you actually use and love. In her 12 years as a content creator, Jade has done over 100 brand deals.
The Black Creator Economy
When asked about what she feels is missing in the Black creator marketplace, Jade shares, “I would really appreciate more daily content that doesn’t just highlight Black creators for being Black, but highlights them for being the people that they are, for the lives that they live, and showcasing that.”
She expands upon this by explaining, “The Black experience is diverse, and we are not just here for Black History Month. We’re here for every month.”
Jade explains that she would also love to see brands give more room in their briefs for creators. Creators should be able to share products in their lifestyles naturally and show how they actually use the product, rather than following a specific brief.
“It’s not like the brands are this evil entity that doesn’t want you to be Black. They just simply may not know that this is how you use a product, or how culturally this may or may not relate.”
She also encourages other creators to stand up for their values and their brand.
“Every creator has a unique voice. We’ve got to shift the mindset from trying to make people fit into boxes and instead give people the free range to say, “Hey creator, I trust you. You know your audience better than we do. What are your ideas for this product [campaign]?”
She also encourages other creators to get inspired and spend time off social media, which can help you create the content you’re meant to be putting out there.
“You have to be really tapped in with yourself and know where your boundaries are because there’s going to be seasons where you love social media, your content pops, your numbers are great, and everything is great.”
However, these seasons come and go. Jade shares that creators need to be prepared to handle the down seasons. Understanding your own boundaries as an individual can help with this.
“Doing that inner work is imperative for the longevity of any creator, but especially as Black creators because of the unique circumstances that we walk into this industry with. The unique circumstances we walked through life with. We definitely need to make sure that our mental health is intact.”
She notes that she is personally “huge on having a strong sense of faith. I cannot do any of what I do without God backing me because this world is crazy, simply put. If you don’t have some sort of bigger purpose in mind… You can really sink down low into a place where it’s just not going to be good.”
Jade urges other creators not to get lost in trends and to focus on creating a healthy balance. Creators are human and won’t be able to publish content three or four times a week indefinitely without burning out. So, she shares that it’s important to account for the different seasons of life.