Meet the Latina Who Created an App to Help Ensure Fair Pay For Content Creators

Christen Nino de Guzman
Alexsey Reyes
Alexsey Reyes

Christen Nino De Guzman has worked for social media giants like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok, liaising with content creators since 2015. Her career in tech and social media has offered her some keen insights into the challenges content creators face when it comes to pay, particularly Latinx content creators and other content creators of color. As a creator herself, the 31-year-old from Los Angeles was recently able to quit her job to focus on her new app, Clara, which is designed to help content creators address pay disparities and access the information they need to get fair pay from the brands they choose to work with.

Nino De Guzman started developing and securing funding for Clara in March 2021, working from the ground up. After months of cold-calling potential investors, in July 2021, she finally got the funding she needed to create Clara, which launched in January 2022. The app is specifically intended to help establish pay equity for TikTok creators, Instagram creators, and even YouTubers. With Clara, Nino De Guzman hopes to change the world of professional content creation by putting creators first.

Although there aren't specific statistics available yet for content creators related to ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic demographics, as recently as 2020, Latinas as a whole only earned 57 percent of what white, non-Latinx men in the workforce were paid. At that rate, we won't achieve equal pay until the year 2197. It's a serious problem that needs to be addressed in every sector, and Nino De Guzman is committed to doing her part.

"When I first started, it was interesting because the main type of content creator was a blogger, and they were very traditionally white, and I would say like . . . middle to high class, and they'd have, like great video equipment and traveled a lot," Nino De Guzman tells POPSUGAR. "What's . . . really cool to see is that now, especially with platforms like TikTok . . . the definition of who could be discovered has changed so dramatically," she says, noting that she now sees a much more diverse group of people, earning income as content creators, but that those creators don't necessarily know what they should be asking for from brands.

For example, someone who was previously working a minimum wage job may be approached by a brand and simply be excited to make any money when they could be making far more if they only knew how much other content creators have been paid for similar projects with the same brand.

"I wish services like Clara were available when I first started making branded content," Latina content producer Andrea Casanova of latinapreneur on TikTok tells us. "I undervalued myself just because I was always afraid that the 'ship would sail' if I'd given the brand the budget I was actually comfortable with," she explained. "Now, with a tool like this, we can actively support each other and advocate for one another to be paid our worth."

Clara is exactly the tool they need to do that, and while Nino De Guzman hopes to continue building out the platform to include things like creator demographics and space for brands to search for creators based on skill sets, the app is already providing content creators with more information than they've ever had access to before.

"Prior to Clara, creators without management were left to the Wild West of spitballing a rate or receiving free products as a form of payment," writer and producer Katherine G. Mendoza tells us. "Clara establishes an essential floor plan that changes the creator negotiation process," she says.

Here's everything content creators should know about Clara:

What Is Clara?

Clara is a free app where content creators can read reviews of various brands written by other content creators. It features information on what those brands have paid content creators for past projects, including what type of work was performed and how many followers the content creator reviewing the brand has.

How Does Clara Work?

Content creators download the app and create a profile that doubles as a media kit. Profiles include a bio, location information, follower count, and even skills. Creators can also search specific brands to read anonymous reviews, ratings, and pricing insights from other creators. The more content creators who join, the more power creators — particularly creators from marginalized communities — will have.

How Does Clara Help Content Creators Get Paid Fairly?

Clara gives content creators the power to negotiate rates, based on facts. For example, a white male might get paid $5,000 for a couple of Instagram posts while a Latina is being offered $3,000. The Latina can now go to Clara and see that someone else was offered thousands more for the same two posts and use that information to negotiate a better rate with the brand.

"With the Clara app being efficiently transparent, I think it's been the best effort made to closing wage gaps and pay disparities," says TikTok influencer Jonny Morales."I'm encouraged to use it knowing that it helps me gauge my worth and, in return, I can contribute to the app to help someone else recognize that their talents don't go unseen."