Wil Shelton, Founder and CEO of Wil Power Integrated Marketing, is a quintessential example of the phrase "your network is your net worth." He is dedicated to instilling wealth in our community not only financially but mentally. He is helping others create wealth by empowering his network of thousands. With over 20 years of experience, Wil has learned how to use his network of over 100,000 African American based hair salons and barbershops to spread awareness of many global brands around the country. Wil has no plans on stopping but wants to continue adding to everything else he has accomplished.
Who is Wil Shelton and what is Wil Power Integrated Marketing?
I have been a marketing consultant for the entertainment industry and global brands for over 20 years. I have always said that I didn't get into the business, the business got into me. In the mid-1990s, I was a licensed hairstylist and I had the chance to open my very own hair salon, which was in business for 10 years. While doing hair, my clients and I would always talk about television, film, and of course gossip.
Music was also a major part of the salon. Clients would hear a certain song or album and at the end of the session, they would express how much they liked it. We would also discuss films and I would recommend films to my clients. I had an epiphany, I realized that I was helping the entertainment industry by marketing their releases. I wondered if there was anybody that would market in a salon because it was an untapped environment but it seemed like it would work. I decided to pitch it to the entertainment industry. After sending in proposals, within 30 days I started receiving things like free CDs to play in the salon and advanced passes to different screenings.
Wil's journey has allowed him to partner with some major brands such as Paramount Studios, Comedy Central, Lions Gate, RCA, AT&T, Columbia Records, Empire on FOX, TV Land, and more. “Because we service so many types of salons and barbershop, we have been able to hyper-focus our campaigns to better suit the needs of the client. For instance, we are able to target facilities where more women or men are the clientele and even target based on the age demographics. Either way, we are able to scale and guarantee visibility for a host of major brands,” says Wil.
Why did he feel that he has been successful in this endeavor?
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.
"Everyone in this world has a unique talent and when that talent is discovered, nurtured and put to use in the proper ways, it becomes a niche." That is something Wil has prided himself on and has been very successful at bringing other people into his vision and creating opportunities for them. Shelton has said, “the African American community is not hard to reach, however its important that companies reach us where we are.”