Kelly Page has a PhD in the ‘Psychology of Web-based technology’ and has dedicated over 15 years consulting on, researching and educating about the human-social design of human-web interaction and communications. She is founder and curator of the social initiative Grateful4Her and the social design studio, Live What You Love, LLC. Grateful4Her is a thank you note to women everywhere and is on a mission to drive change in how we talk about the work and impact of women. Live What You Love, LLC, a social design studio that lives at intersection of social impact, social design and the art of social media. Live What You Love, LLC is effecting change in what it means to be social. Read our interview with the lovely Kelly below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I wanted to create a studio that focused solely on ‘social media for social and creative good’. After years consulting and researching the social space, especially in business, the arts and nonprofit sectors, I was inspired to define a different way of thinking about the impact of social media in our lives. If you love what you do and truly believe in the social or creative impact of what you are doing on the world, we want to work with you. I also wanted freedom over the creative and strategic process working with clients and who I worked with. We want our clients to be different and more intentional in their social activities.
Tell us about your business.
We are a social design studio at the intersection of social impact, social design and the art of social media. We are effecting change in what it means to be social. Our work involves working with clients to create new strategic and creative possibilities in their use of social and digital media to communicate and share their company, product or team story. This can involve workshops and training, managing social spaces at client events or leading a specific social project or initiative. Unlike many social media companies we are not an advertising or PR-like agency, or platform. We work with clients to develop their skills, their culture and the crafting of their story through social and digital media.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
One of the services we offer especially new clients is a Social Critique of your social spaces. This gives us and you a clear picture of how you are currently sharing your story through social media and also the social and digital skills you have on your team. For this service, we offer a discount of 25% for individual artists – such as writers, musicians, singers, dancers, painters or multi-media artists.
In 2015 our founder Kelly Page was the lead researcher on a creative mobile application with digital artists Blast Theory, called Karen – An app that psychologically profiles you as you play. Karen was the winner in the ‘Data’ category for the Best of British Digital at the 2015 British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) Awards.
Where is your business based?
We are based in Oak Park, outside Chicago and have a mix of local, national and international clients. The wonders of social technologies like Slack, Google Hangouts, Skype and Asana enables us to work with clients wherever they are, all over the world. Sometimes this requires we visit to capture and curate social media at a client event, to run workshops or training session on the ground. Yet, a majority of our work can be performed remotely.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Securing the name for our business, and the meaning and story behind it. It was very important to us that our brand story be meaningful and tap into our client’s own desire to live what they love. Most people don’t work in the arts, nonprofit or start-up sectors unless they do love what they do. We see our clients owning their own story socially as critical to this and social technologies can help amplify and share their story with the world.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Most of our clients have come through training sessions or workshops we have run or through word of mouth. We’ve been recommended by other clients or peers in the social and creative space.
What have been your biggest challenges so far
Time. There is never enough time in the day for every project or client initiative. We spend a lot of time juggling and have learned we have to be selective of not just who we work with, but also how many client projects we manage at one time. Social media is also a time-consuming practice that to be most effective needs to be sustained over time. It is very easy to let your social media activity slip or something else take priority.
How did you overcome these challenges?
We are still looking for the best project management tool to help us best manage our time. We switch between Google Calendar, Calendly, Asana and Trello for different ways to manage a project. And have tried MANY social media management tools – with most not meeting our needs. In terms of time management for our clients, a lot of our work is about educating clients that social media is about nurturing relationships and sharing your story over time. This requires an ongoing time and resource commitment.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I take a moment and dance or sing to a playlist on Spotify that was collaboratively created with a group of friends. I asked them what songs they listen to when they need to feel inspired or motivated. It has over 75 songs that I love and I turn it up, and sing and dance to them. Then I get back to whatever I am working on and move through the difficulty by creating a possibility with it.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I don’t. I see my competitors as peers and potential collaborators. Like perhaps how artists see each other. Each is very different and unique in their own way, and each brings something unique to the social space. There are often times work comes across my desk that for time or context reasons I’ll pass on it, and I’ll recommend a competitor to take it on. My studio is small and works on a collaborative model on a project by project basis. As such, I don’t feel that I have competitors. I have peers and collaborators who I hope will never become my competitors.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
‘Be kind to and love yourself, just like you would your pet cat or dog.’ This was advice I received from Kim Konner, a Reiki practitioner I visit. It is also similar to what my mother has always told me. When you are busy running a business, you often put loving and caring for yourself last, when in fact it must come first. My mother always said, ‘if you are running on empty, you cannot be there for others.’ She is very right.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Slow down, be present and be intentional. This might mean saying no to a meet-up or networking event in the evening or not taking on another client project or even scaling some work back so you can reflect. Entrepreneurs want it all now especially in the digital and social space and there is a risk of getting caught up in a trend and not being intentional about what you are putting out into the world.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Spotify. It is not exactly a business tool, but without it I would have difficulty working. Music helps focus and uplift me. The business resource I am loving at the moment is Nimble. I have only started using it, but it is helping me improve managing my business contacts and communications across my email and social accounts.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
In November, 2016 we also launched our own social initiative/project called Grateful4Her. It is a thank you note to women everywhere and we are on a mission to change how the world and especially the media considers the work and impact of women.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
There was a great article published in 2016, April in Fast Company on Millennials are Reshaping the World of Social Impact. I believe millennials are often misjudged and misunderstood. From my years teaching in higher education I have come to respect and care deeply for how young people are caring and contributing to the world. And I believe we in the ‘social media for social and creative impact’ space can learn much from them if we step back and take the time to not just hear, but really listen to what they are saying about the world they want to live and be in.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
We thrive on collaboration and it is one of the most challenging areas of our work. We work with creative designers, developers, marketers and users of social media on a continual basis. We want to develop a community of partners and collaborators and are interested in hearing from other entrepreneurs in how they structure and design their collaboration process, how they identify who they wish to partner with on projects and the different terms they have come to seek out and manage their partnerships.