Itâ€™s no surprise that Toni Carey and Ashley Hicksâ€™ brainchild, Black Girls Run!, took off after its founding in 2009. With nothing more than a desire to record their personal fitness journeys and form a support system for female runners, the health-conscious duo teamed up to ignite a national movement comprised of over 65 BGR running groups nationwide. The social-savvy team has an impressive social media footprint, which includes more than 35,000 â€œlikesâ€ on Facebook and over 9,000 followers on Twitter. Carey and Hicks were able to leverage their presence on and offline, creating a strong, successful initiative from the ground up in three years flat. BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the Black Girl Run! founders to see what it takes to get your health-conscious movement the attention it deserves. â€” Yoli Ouiya
Pass the Mic
If you have established a health-conscious community, comprised of a robust site or blog, and a strong social-media following, people want to hear more than just your voice. Community engagement is huge! One practice thatâ€™s worked well for Black Girls Run! is profiling its members. â€œIt reinforces that this is for everyone,â€ says Carey, an entrepreneur and public relations specialist. In addition to exchanging healthy living tips and exercise journeys, she adds, â€œâ€¦those members, typically, share through their [personal] network.â€ Hence, Carey and Hicks are not left to promote their initiative on their ownâ€”BGR members help to do so as well.
Leverage Community and Online Conversations
Check their stats:Black Girls Run!has thousands of members in almost all of the 50 states, a vigorous social media presence and a blog that includes running tips, information on top-notch sportswear and inspirational stories. The innovative duo has even launched a line of BGR paraphernalia. Carey and Hicks picked up on their growing following and ran with it.