When I first started my own business, I turned to popular marketing professionals and models to try to understand how to succeed. Unfortunately, most of those professionals and models were perpetuating harm and fell in line with existing systems of oppression without even realizing it.
I struggled to adapt those marketing “best practices,” and I couldn’t figure out why it was so challenging. I assumed it must be a problem with me. That is, until I found the work of feminist marketing consultant Kelly Diels. Suddenly there was a light of truth shining on the parts of my marketing strategy that had been making me uneasy.
In this episode, Kelly declares that we are all culture makers, and she shares strategies for harnessing our culture-making power to create the kind of world we want to live in. Business owners and consumers alike will walk away from this episode feeling empowered to create change (and not the kind of empowered that requires leveraging your privilege to get ahead).
- Who Kelly is and the work she does as a feminist marketing consultant.
- The “Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand” (FLEB for short) and how Kelly defines it.
- How performing the characteristics of the FLEB is exhausting because it’s inauthentic.
- Doubling down on exerting control in the individual areas where we know we can make a difference while also working towards systemic change.
- How there is no single formula for what success in business looks like, monetarily or otherwise.
- What advice Kelly has for business owners who have been called out for harmful practices.
- Critique as a form of caring (which is different from someone trying to erase a person).
- Brands that talk the social justice talk but don’t actually back it up by walking the social justice walk.
- How to have a flourishing business without leveraging privilege.
- Making small, incremental changes to your business vs burning it to the ground and starting over.
- The method that Kelly uses to bake consent into her email marketing tactics.
- How consumers can make culture by deciding who and what they give their time and energy to.
- The many different entry points to create change and how everyone can rely on their specific skills and talents to find the right fit.
- How Kelly defines health and wellness for herself at this moment in her life.
Mentioned in this Episode:
- The Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand
- The act of culture making as Kelly defines it
- Toi Smith and her experiences with a woman whose brand has embodied FLEB principles in the past
- The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
- The statement issued by Ben & Jerry’s in the wake of the killing of George Floyd
- Rachel Rodgers
- The “You get a car” clip from The Oprah Winfrey Show
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