Keep in mind the people who are there for you, and are helping you to stay strong and alive. Up is always easy, but down is twice as hard.
We often use the term “Influencers” to describe people with significant social media followings on platforms like Instagram, Twitter TikTok, Youtube, Linkedin and Facebook. Influencers have become today’s media titans, sought after for everything from product placements to timely trends. What’s the difference between influence and impact? Fans and followers? Sizzle versus staying power?
In this interview series, called, “How To Cultivate Community In A Click to Connect World” we are talking to influencers about how they define success and what we all need to discover about the true nature of influence. As a part of this series I had the pleasure of interviewing Lillee Jean Lillee Jean.
Lillee Jean is an actress, model, entrepreneur, content creator, anti-bullying advocate, environmentalist, and self-taught makeup artist from New York City. She creates beauty content for YouTube and Instagram to appeal to her wide fan base. In addition to advocating for mental health, she also aims to educate her fans through her channel.
Thank you for making time to visit with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. How did you discover your career path and what got you to where you are today?
My favorite medium has always been art, and I enjoy entertaining people with it. As soon as I saw YouTube videos showing makeup tutorials, I knew that I could combine my love of art and beauty. Later, I decided to leave the beauty community and become immersed in the entertainment industry. I have never regretted my choice.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way that influences how you operate now?
Stay true to yourself. Sometimes it sounds cliche, but always stick to your convictions and never stray from them.
We’re all searching for some good news. How are you using your platform to make a positive social impact?
Even when a subject is serious, I try to maintain a positive attitude for my fans. I try to keep the conversations relatable to what is going on in the world, and I want to hear from my fans about how things are impacting their lives, and how we can all work together to improve things. Positivity is the most valuable asset anyone can possess and convey.
Many of our readers are influencers as well. Others have tried and have yet to succeed. What words of advice would you offer to aspiring influencers, knowing what you know now?
You need to realize that the Internet is a hard crowd to please, so you will always run into a few bad apples that are going to pick you apart and tear you down. Don’t give up, and stay focused. It’s your right to have your space, and your voice, and you should never let anyone push you away. Focus on the positive, because the negative can weigh you down.
Success is often a matter of perspective. I’ve always resonated with Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” How do you see success — or define success — for yourself now?
In my opinion, success is not just about money. Success means being happy with your career choices, and with the people you surround yourself with. For me, success is making a difference in people’s lives, as well as feeling good about yourself while making a living.
What are your strategies to make room for who and what matters most?
Keep in mind that the most important person is you. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to help and motivate others.
How do you reduce or mitigate stress?
Meditation wins hands down. I like to spend ten minutes every day contemplating what is happening in the universe. It helps me refocus on my work.
I’m going to try a few of your tips, and I’m hopeful our readers will, too. Now it’s time for the big reveal — the moment our readers have been anticipating. What are your “five strategies to cultivate a large & engaged social media community?’ Please share a story or example for each.
First and foremost, cultivating a meaningful audience takes time. My social platform has been growing for ten years, and in that period, those who started out as fans have grown with me. As far as content goes, I prefer content that is relevant to what is happening in the world, and that is interesting, so that people feel engaged. I would suggest:
1. Engage people in today’s relevant issues;
2. Remember that everyone is different, and respect all opinions;
3. Rather than focusing on going viral, focus on content. It’s great to go viral, but how engaging and long-lasting your audience is in the long run is the most important lesson here.
4. Engage the audience in dialogue, or at least pick out a few relevant comments that reflect what people are feeling;
5. Keep in mind the people who are there for you, and are helping you to stay strong and alive. Up is always easy, but down is twice as hard.
What do you do to create a greater sense of connection and community among your fans?
I want to let my fans know that I care about them and am here for them. I like to reflect on what other people have said after they take the time to thoughtfully express their feelings about one of my posts.
As an influencer, you are, by definition, a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
The internet etiquette needs to change. People seem to accept anonymity and even though their actions and comments can hurt others, they don’t seem to get the concept that what they are doing is wrong. Unfortunately, I have experienced firsthand the abuse of a system. People forget that the internet is not real life, and they live their anonymous lives online, which is dangerous. As for me, people have attempted to slander me online and doxx my family and I, as well as investigate my private life. It is unfortunate that people do not realize that no one has the right to access their personal information or judge them. The laws governing social media platforms should be changed. While I appreciate the opportunity to grow my career on these platforms, it does not seem that enough is being done to moderate the actions of people using them.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He, she or they might just see this. 🙂
The way things are going in our global world right now, there are so many people trying to help. I am very intrigued by what will happen in the future with women in power, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush. I find them both to be talented, young, and inspiring. Their progressive ideas are expansive for making this world a better place. I really couldn’t choose between them. I’d love to have lunch with both of them!
What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGQF-GZ2oWfgb1NN3QtJJlA (Lillee Jean)
Digital Art: https://www.deviantart.com/lilleejean
Thank you for these thought provoking insights. Here’s to your continued success!