It was inevitable that LGBT folk would be a leading part of the new trend in corporate advertising we’ve all come to know as “influencers.”
You know who they are, posting impossibly beautiful selfies, art poses and daring things, making you feel downright unworthy and, well, fat and old. But don’t feel too bad. They are working and you aren’t (not like this, at least).
Chances are you’ve seen them in an ad for Bird or FitTea or any number of other advertisers who’ve determined reaching their followers is worth big bucks. Some reportedly earn thousands for a single post.
Influencers now dominate Instagram and increasingly YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, crowding out puppies and grandma. They’ve turned their lives into billboards, monetizing every aspect of their online life sneaking ads onto your phone.
Don’t tell the marketers, but you probably didn’t notice the product. It’s the new face of millennial entrepreneurship. Though there are definitely several LGBT influencers in LA who have millions of followers (think RuPaul and Ellen) across every platform, we thought we’d present a few of our favorite upstart locals.
RJ Aguilar says he’s been in the game since 2010. He’s a writer, YouTuber, actor, host, comedian, model, “and the luckiest husband/doggy daddy ever!” He’s sold everything from underwear to sunglasses, doggy wear to ice cream cones. He has a reach of 284,000 and for $150 he will consider posing with your product.
Angela Borges “represents the LGBT community in a very smooth, non aggressive manner.” She says her audience is highly responsive to her focus on travel and adventure experiences. She’s 30 years old and claims a reach of more than 300,000. Don’t even think about asking her to post for less than $500.
Bray Love, Bad Boy Bray Love will post for you beginning at $75. And it may just be worth it because he’s edgy, sexy and has an engaged combined metric of more than 50,000 LGBT followers who love his take on men’s health, adult entertainment and men’s fashions.
Believe in yourself, give, live and love authentically, & no one can steal your shine! ☀️ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #host #tvhost #smile #foodie #cali #la #blessed #motivation #instafit #instagay #iloveme #love #loveyourself #summer #summervibes #blackboyjoy #melaninpoppin #fitness #equinox #equinoxmademedoit #instagay #gaymuscles #gayfit #muscles
Emile Ennis, Jr. has a reach exceeding 300,00 people and seems to always have a donut in his mouth, but he is seriously engaging and has represented products like Equinox, Monarch Beach Resort, Google, SmartShake and, of course, Krispy Kreme. He earns a reported $400 for a post.
Greg McKeon is a UC Berkeley grad turned celebrity fitness trainer. “I live to travel and share my travels with my family and friends.” And it’s paid off. With a reach of more than 50,000, Greg is quickly moving up in the top ranks of the LA influencer world, earning more than $250 per post.
Most of you probably don’t know that I have a matching tattoo with my sister on my ribcage. We have different fonts but they both say “sister” in German – a way to signify the bond between us, and the German pride our family has always held with my dad being from there. However, as my transition has changed my relationship with my body, it’s also changed my relationship with this tattoo. At first, it felt strange and foreign because it was no longer a word I identified with. And to be honest, I never felt overwhelmingly attached to this ink. But on second thought, it feels more now like an homage to something I once was, and something that shaped who I am today. And so this is both a reminder of my past self, to be gentle, to remember my feminine side. But I also dedicate it to my sisters – @taylorbigwood + @morgan_bigwood – you two are the best siblings a big brother could ask for. Now when I get asked if having this tattoo makes me feel any type of way, my answer is no – it means more to me now than it ever has before.
Kai Wes is a Los Angeles non-binary star “riding the gender waves attempting to do something meaningful.” Kai has succeeded online with more than 100,000 combined followers across every platform. Kai’s monetizing success is “a secret,” but engagement reports suggest it could be lucrative.