When you hear the words impact and empowered in relation to business, what comes to mind? Are there any particular brands or influential people that you think of? What do they do that creates impact and empowerment from your perspective?
Impact and empowered (along with every variation of these words) are no doubt popular buzzwords in entreprenuer culture; and applying them to your brand in a way that translates to meaningful conversations and valuable connections is where your focus should be. If you want to truly make an impact with your business and build an empowered brand, the actions you take as the leader of your brand should be a reflection of your core values. Here are six ways to do it.
Philanthropy is often the first thing that comes to mind when people think about making an impact; and donating money is a common thought related to philanthropy, but there are multiple ways to give back.
If donating money is a stretch for you and your growing business, volunteering your time is a valueable way to give back. Think about causes that are important to you and seek out organizations that align with your values. When you have your list, reach out to find out where you can lend a hand. You can also take it a step further and consider your skill set and what you have to offer an organization. You may come up with an idea that could benefit them and help you grow that they hadn’t thought of. Don’t get discouraged if the organization(s) you reach out to isn’t in need of volunteers, you can always ask if there are similar organizations they can refer you to.
Whether you choose to donate money or volunteer your time, helping out in areas where support is provided to communities in need is a great way to make an impact.
2. Community Building
Entrepreneurship can be lonely and running a business is hard, no matter how easy and fabulous it may appear for some people. Having a community is important for the health of your business, but it’s also a great way to make an impact while inspiring and empowering others.
Community building can look like joining (or even creating) an organization that has a social impact component; networking with other business leaders who’s values you align with; participating in events that foster a sense of community, such as conferences and summits where connections are made, knowledge is shared, and new ideas are formed. Community building is where ripple effects begin to make an impact over time.
Sustainability has become a central focus for many brands in recent years. There are plenty of companies that have made it a part of their mission with the work they do, however you don’t have to have a sustainability focused business to make an impact with your brand.
Sustainability can be achieved through mindful efforts from things like incorporating reuseable products to reduce waste, buying food from local farmers and vendors, or partnering with sustainable organizations like One Tree Planted to plant trees for every sale you make.
Sustainability is important to consider for the sake of future generations; and every effort you make is an opportunity to inspire others to take similar steps to help make an impact.
4. Advocacy & Activism
Advocacy and activism gained a lot of attention in 2020, with Black Lives Matter being (rightfully) at the center of the conversation. During a pandemic year, where the world was forced to sit still and listen, conversations that have been happening within (often silenced) communites for decades were being heard and people were finally standing up and speaking out; including brands.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that advocacy and activism is absolutely necessary for the progression of society. There are an array of causes to advocate for and you can choose more than one if you’re called to. The year opened up important conversations around equality and human rights, mental health, and even domestic violence and sexual assault from the result of people being quarantined with abusive partners.
When you use your brand and your platform to advocate for a cause you believe in, you’re letting your community know what you stand for; and the people you attract from those conversations may feel empowered to advocate for what they believe in, too.
5. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion isn’t a new topic, however, much like advocacy and activism, it became a louder conversation among brands in 2020. Performative allyship became a concern as brands considered what they were sharing in an effort to be anti-racist and inclusive; and business owners realized the true impact their platforms had on communities.
The narrative became clear to those who hadn’t previously paid much attention: diversity, equity, and inclusion is absolutely necessary if you’re going to make an impact and build an empowered brand as a business leader; but it has to be genuine.
(If building an inclusive brand is something you’d like help with, I have 1-on-1 empowered brand therapy consulting options available to help you.)
6. Education & Empowerment
Education is empowering! Whether you’re seeking it for yourself to grow as a leader or you’re providing it to help others on their journey, education is paramount in building an impactful, empowered brand, because when we know better, we do better. (Ideally anyway.)
If you have something you’re really good at that you know other people could benefit from, consider sharing it. There are several ways you can share your knowledge and make money doing it. Before you balk and start thinking ‘why does it have to be about money?’ consider the fact that money is also empowering and if you can earn money sharing something that comes naturally to you, that gives you the ability to do more of what you enjoy while creating financial flexibility to do things like volunteer, participate in community building, and advocate for what you believe in.
You can educate others through webinars, online courses, conferences and summits, or even connect with other educators and business leaders to share your knowledge as a guest educator. Conversely, you can support other business leaders and educators when they host webinars, launch courses, or speak at conferences and summits. The best part about providing and supporting education is that it creates a flow of energy through knowledge and financial exchanges. What a great way to make an impact and build an empowered brand!
Are you looking for ways to incorporate social impact and empowerment into your brand, but feel like you need guidance to ensure that what you do is streamlined with your brand? Reach out and let’s chat about what we can do for your brand!