Mindful Entrepreneurship And Social Impact

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Original Article: LinkedIn

Consumerism is driven by a new standard in advertising that’s moved beyond ads on television, Google, or even the ever-present Facebook. We are in the age of the influencer, in what has been a rocketship of paradigm shifts, tastemakers have turned from celebrity to the literal girl next door. With every possible online channel teeming with sponsored posts and promotions of gifted products, we are more influenced by moments on Instagram than even word of mouth. This transfer of power has created a new generation of consumers who interact with brands in a more intimate way. Not only do we see products we want to buy or experiences we want to have. We get to experience the full spectrum of human emotions as a community. Social media influencers are no strangers to blending the personal and professional, that is quite literally their bread and butter. Over the last eighteen months I’ve thought a lot about how to manage the tension between my personal and professional identity.

Political ideologies aside, the issues around equality in the US are at the forefront of our collective consciousness. As a citizen and an entrepreneur I felt compelled to find a way to help. I think a change we can all agree on is tone, and the tone of society is something seemingly innocuous, and accessible no matter your personal party lines. What if influencers were motivated to move the emotional tone of a nation, instead of of contents of a shopping cart? As a business, how do you make a social impact statement without alienating part of your network, especially in a highly sensationalized media cycle?

Let's call it mindful entrepreneurship, here's how we are doing it:

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...the best companies are the ones that care about others...

photo courtesy of Steffy's Pros & Cons

Take a stand.

As business leaders, we have the opportunity, and quite frankly the responsibility to take a stand when we see injustice. As we saw in ‘Council of CEOs Is Disbanding Amid Outrage Over His Charlottesville Response’ if we want to influence the narrative, the people around you and your business need to know what you believe needs changing. Case in point, recently while away on business in Europe I was looking at what was happening in the United States (again, Charlottesville, etc.), wondering, what can I do about this? My firm manages bloggers and social media stars who are responsible for influencing your purchasing habits, and after a lot of thought I realized that I happen to have influence over...influencers! I essentially can use my company's actual role in the marketplace as a tool for social impact. By inviting my influencers into the conversation about tone that I wanted to elicit, with their buy in, we’d be able to get people around the nation and the world to know our shared stance: love first.

By taking a stand I enabled my team of influencers to show that they are conscious entrepreneurs themselves, who are willing to take time out of their day-to-day to impact the the channel feeds of their followers in a different way To spread awareness of a positive tone and movement against those who would spread hate, fear and violence.

Love is not political.

While your stance should be clear, what you want to see happen should rise above politics. In our case, by focusing on the message of love, and sharing love, we combat the rise of hate groups such as white nationalists etc. We designed the #influencelove campaign to focus on a non-political message of creating positive moments in people’s lives. They can buy a shirt and are encouraged to share messages of how love triumphs over hate. We are taking the proceeds to groups like the ADL, which is creating great programs, such as the Alliance Against Hate, that is doing the work of combatting the tone we want to get rid of.

We are also dealing with hurricanes demolishing the South, and fires engulfing the Pacific Northwest, affecting the lives of millions. With out #influencelove campaign we are giving our community the choice of where their donation goes, i.e. the ADL or American Red Cross. These are things that most people are not going to argue about. Again, making the idea of getting involved in our movement accessible to (almost) all, no matter what side of the line they're on. Because those who are pro-hate have a much harder time being heard if we infuse our feeds with love.

Lead with empathy and spread compassion.

We don’t need an invitation to spread love. We are the people that will change the way our world works. Our businesses can be vehicles for social change if we take time to figure out where to put our talents. We should look to build organizations we are proud of, the best companies are the ones that care about others, and I am confident we are creating a world where eventually every organization, whether a large corporation or a social media influencer will have a tenant of social impact.

If you are kind, and share love, you will combat whatever is ailing society, man-made or otherwise.

NEW TO THE FAMILY: Steffy's Pros & Cons

God & Beauty is thrilled to announce the signing of Steffy Degreff from Steffy's Pros & Cons to our family of bloggers, photographers and otherwise talented creators!

www.steffysprosandcons.com

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Steffy's Pros & Cons started in 2011, after she discovered fashion blogs while living abroad, and was originally focused around her love for collecting vintage. Now her topics have expanded to so much more, as she has built the blog around her life with her husband Matt, baby boy Hudson and our doxie Claude. Her pros and cons typically revolve around fashion (of course), travel, her family, and sometimes changing her living room rug five times, aka interior design stories.

Steffy likes to go where life takes her, and we're excited to share her fascinating journey with you! 


Intern Sign Off: Where Does Influence Go From Here

Before I started here at God & Beauty, I met our founder Kyle at my university. We were discussing the importance of influencers in marketing. At the time I thought: "Influencers bring a lot of value to brands", because I had learned that in class and had seen it in real life. My interaction with influencers was following beauty bloggers for their advice and honest opinions, they had made me want to purchase particular products. Before this internship, I didn't really know the actual hard work and value that went into creating was I consumed. 

Influencers are artists at their job. From my time here I've seen modeling, editing, acting all happen around me. The team at God & Beauty are professional artists, truly. It made me realize that these influencers take pride in their job just like any other artist does. I've written so much about "trust" and "authenticity", and these people exude it in the real world with their professionalism. I followed influencers because I believed the lifestyle they brought to life, and it's been amazing be apart of so many stories that have been told. 

The industry is only going to be getting bigger and more influential, and I hope that brands see the work these influencers put into their content. There is real value in what they can provide and statistic have shown they are only getting more powerful in the marketplace. I've learned so much about the planning and dedication these influencers have, and they can bring so much to the table creatively. These are our new celebrities and the market should embrace them as such. I believe that moving forward there will be more doors opened for influencers and brands. Apps have been growing by the week to embrace these changes and enrich their feeds. 

Influencers bring people together with common goals and lifestyles, and that's something to be appreciated as a tool for brands. From here brand ambassadors will go up as the technology evolves. I hope to see more of a growth in VR and influencers, as well as more stories. People don't care where your brand came from if you tell them with a novel, you need visuals and someone else saying your story matters and this is why. 

After my time here, I think I will only see the success of the influencers of God & Beauty grow. This company is truly the gem of influencer marketing, I wish it nothing but success and continued prosperity. Thank you for all you've done for me, I'm extremely grateful for this oppurtunity. It's not good bye- it's see you later!