Today we’d like to introduce you to Wil Shelton.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I got started first by being a salon owner and hairstylist and realizing the salon was where the consumer was most receptive and captive. I understood that advertisers and global brands were eager to connect and join the conversations, the narratives, and literally become part of the salon storyline unfolding in real-time within these trusted environments.
I realized the immense opportunity to connect with and appeal to a segment that yields tremendous influence in shaping the overall multicultural mindset. I knew that we could help brands grow market share by developing genuine relationships and leveraging the cultural capital that existed in salons and barbershops.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has not been smooth. But I know that all of the tests and trials that I’ve had to overcome have helped make us who we’ve become. We’ve had to go through the challenges of diversifying our client base and breaking into other industries outside of our core clients which were the entertainment industry. When we first got started we had no track record so we had to pitch our capabilities to companies that never heard of us. Once we landed our first client it became easier to get the next, but it was a project by project build. Another one of our struggles was building a solid team on the ground to penetrate into marketplace.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
We have a network of over 100,000 African American salons and barbershops nationwide where we can reach over 100 million consumers annually. We are known for understanding how to bring brands and the brand message into an environment we know and speak to the consumer in an authentic and credible way in the African American community. I’m proud of being able to convince brands that they were leaving revenue on the table by not tapping into the African American consumer base in the beauty salon space with strategic campaigns. Also, being able to service an underserved audience with an opportunity to connect with brands and entertainment. The more successful these projects become, the more the entertainment companies will continue to produce the content they want and desire.
I’m also most proud of being tapped to partner with AT&T for their national Cultural Codes campaign. WPIM distributed branded premium assets (designed and developed as custom pieces for salon distribution) to top beauty salons and barbershops in key markets. The branded swag and subsequent distribution were an effective way to reach a captive AA consumer, while organically messaging about AT&T through branded premiums. The branded swag items served as a conversation starter and buzz driver of the AT&T brand through an interactive and immersive experience. Also I would add I’m most proud of the fact that our agency has been able to break barriers. Like being the first agency in history to host advance screenings of televisions shows in salons and barbershops.
What were you like growing up?
I was shy up until about the 9th grade, then I came out of my shell through weight lifting and breakdancing competitions. I was always interested in uplifting others and helping them see themselves as who they really are. I was always determined to go after my dreams and reach my potential in life.
- Website: www.wilpowerent.net
- Phone: 5623962165
- Instagram: @wil_power_ent
- Twitter: @WLpower