Likes, followers, subscribers, Insta-fame, advertising dollars. While these concepts are relatively new, their power to turn your life and career upside down is undeniable.
Social media is no longer just a form of self-expression (like it was back in the day when I’d spend all my free time on LiveJournal), now it’s a way to make money and change the world… if you choose so.
I’d like to introduce you to a rad person who’s redefining how we think about social media influence and living life to the fullest.
His name is Jérôme Jarre, and he’s turning social media influence into smiles, empowered youth, and solar powered light in rural Philippines.
He’s the first social media personality to not just run a social good campaign in partnership with a large brand, but to make it the primary focus of his work.
A French native, traveler, and natural entrepreneur, Jarre became famous for his joy-filled comedic six-second Vine videos (R.I.P. Vine), which were a result of pushing his own boundaries and overcoming a fear of strangers. What made Jérôme different from the get go is his contagious passion for life. His inimitable, innocent joy and aliveness. Every piece of content he shares, from his squirrel series to the #UglySelfieChallenge, radiates authenticity and good intention.
Soon after becoming social media-famous (at one point he was the fourth most followed individual on Vine), he created a Vine influencer agency (R.I.P. Vine) with marketing personality Gary Vaynerchuk, appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show, was caught hanging out with Ashton Kitcher and Robert DeNiro, and Snapchatted from the Valentino runway with the cast of Zoolander 2 in Milan. He also was offered $1 million. by Pepsi, which he famously turned down because it didn’t align with his values.
It would have been easy for Jérôme to take the road well traveled and go to Hollywood, date a starlet or two, release a capsule collection with Topshop, and get his own TV show deal (“Keeping Up with Jérôme And His Squirrel”).
Instead, he deleted all his Vine posts and took a break from social media.
I don’t know what exactly Jérôme did during his digital detox, but scrolling through his Instagram captions makes me think he spent most of the time meditating in a cave. Whether or not that’s the case, it’s obvious that Jarre spent a heck of a time going inward and connecting to his purpose. What he came back with is changing the course of social media history.
What Jarre realized is profound: instead of turning down collaboration offers from brands that he doesn’t align with (I hear that his rate for a Snapchat story is $35,000), he could turn it all around and work with large budget companies on his terms. His terms happen to be focused on global happiness and living outside your comfort zone.
“The truth is social media has totally redistributed who has influence and power, and that a positive & healthy revolution would be possible right now if celebrities and social media stars could stop spending their lives selling sugared water and take their chance to change the world,” Jérôme posted on Instagram (with a shoutout to radishes).
How does he do it?
By creating authentic, lighthearted content around important causes that makes you smile and doesn’t give you a choice but to engage. Whether the goal is making a stranger smile or providing solar power to an underdeveloped community in the Philippines, it’s all driven by a larger purpose.
For example, he ran a social media based crowdfunding campaign in which “likes” were the currency. Instead of the usual direct relationship between brands and influencers (like sponsored content and endorsements), he engages his community and gives everyone a chance to participate in creating change by simply giving an Instagram “like”. This one time he turned 150K Instagram likes into a lit up village in the Philippines.
“Social media makes us the most powerful generation ever, but only if you use it right,” says Jérôme in Marketing Your Creativity For A Cause discussion.
“We’re not using social media at its full capacity. We were given this free space ship, and we use it to go grocery shopping instead of going to the moon.”
As social media gets more crowded and the focus starts truly shifting from quantity to quality, it’s important to stay connected not only to your purpose as a publisher/influencer/creator, but to a bigger purpose, and find new creative ways to shine light on causes that we support.
Thank you, Jérôme for setting the bar high and reminding us and a whole generation of social media-obsessed youth to connect to things that count.
DEAR FOLLOWERS 🚨 WHEN VINE STARTED I REALLY BELIEVED VINERS WERE GONNA CHANGE THE WORLD WITH SOCIAL MEDIA. THAT’S WHAT EXCITED ME. HOW MUCH CHANGE IN THE WORLD WE WERE GONNA BE ABLE TO CREATE. NOT THE FAME. NOT THE MONEY. AS SOCIAL MEDIA STARS ARE BECOMING MORE AND MORE THE NEW HOLLYWOOD I HAVE BEEN LESS & LESS ATTRACTED BY THIS WORLD 😕 AND YOU PROBABLY HAVE NOTICED THAT. I AM SORRY IF I HAVE LET YOU DOWN. IF YOU WANTED ME TO BE IN LOS ANGELES COLLABORATING WITH EVERYONE. I LOVE ALL THE CREATORS I MET THROUGH THIS ADVENTURE, TRUST ME, 99% OF THEM ARE BEAUTIFUL PERSONS, BUT IN MY HEART SOMETHING IS MISSING. MORE PURPOSE. THERE IS ALSO TOO MUCH SUFFERING AROUND THE WORLD RIGHT NOW 💔 AND I BELIEVE WE SHOULDN’T ACCEPT THAT. SO THIS POST IS ME OFFICIALLY TURNING THE PAGE FROM THAT CHAPTER OF MY LIFE. SHOULD HAVE DONE IT A LONG TIME AGO. BYE BYE CHASING VIEWS & VIRAL HITS. FROM NOW ON I AM GONNA MEASURE MY LIFE ONLY ON NUMBER OF PEOPLE HELPED. AND I WILL USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO DOCUMENT THAT JOURNEY & TO INVOLVE YOU AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. IT STARTS RIGHT NOW 👁
A photo posted by JÉRÔME JARRE (@jeromejarre) on
Do you know awesome examples of social media used for a good purpose? I’d love to hear – share in comments below!
And if that wasn’t inspiring enough, dig into this:
I USED TO THINK HAPPINESS WAS THE ULTIMATE GOAL IN LIFE AND ALL THIS REALLY DID TO ME IS TO GET ME DEPRESSED AND UNSATISFIED. I DON’T WANT YOU TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID. THE BIGGEST LESSON TO TAKE HERE IS DON’T CHASE HAPPINESS ! BECAUSE THERE IS MUCH MORE TO LIFE WHEN YOU BECOME IN PEACE WITH HOWEVER YOU FEEL TODAY !!! IF IT’S HAPPY IT’S AMAZING !! BUT IF IT’S NOT HAPPY IT’S STILL AMAZING 😄 YOU ARE NOT YOUR SADNESS. AND YOU ARE NOT YOUR HAPINESS. THOSE ARE JUST SEASONS. THEY NEVER. EVER. EVER. LAST FOREVER. SO TRY TO NOT GIVE YOUR BRAIN & THOSE SEASONS SO MUCH IMPORTANCE. JUST TRY TO FEEL YOUR FOOTS INSTEAD 😄 FEEL THEM TOUCHING THE GROUND !!! AND FEEL YOUR HEART BEATING !! JUST FEEL HOW MUCH MORE GREATER & MAGICAL THAN YOUR BRAIN YOUR VERY EXISTENCE IS 😊 IF YOU START GIVING LESS IMPORTANCE TO THE BRAIN & MORE TO THE REST OF YOU…. EVERYTHING WILL START FEELING BETTER 😄 I HOPE THIS CAN BE HELPFUL TO SOMEONE. Very excited to be doing a partnership with @bringchange2mind to keep this conversation on happiness & mental illness open. Expression is the opposite of depression so if you feel like participating share your story with us on the hashtag #WhatsYourStory or just write a comment here and I will be reading/answering people 💛
LAUGHING SO HARD AS I AM POSTING THAT 😂😂😂 THINKING OF ALL THE TIME I GOT BULLIED AS A KID. THE WAY I LIVE MY LIFE RIGHT NOW FREE OF ANYYYYY CARE REALLY IS THE BEST REVENGE. IF YOU ARE BEING BULLIED OR IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE OUT THERE BEING BULLIED FOR HIS CLOTHES OR FOR ANY OTHER STUPID REASON PLEASE TELL THEM TO NOT CHANGE. THE PEOPLE THAT BULLY ARE SCARED. OF HOW UNIQUE YOU ARE, OF HOW SPECIAL YOU ARE & OF ALL THE POTENTIAL YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE BECAUSE OF THAT. IF YOU DON’T LET THEM CHANGE YOU, IF YOU STAY TRUE TO WHAT YOU BELIEVE NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY THEN ALL THE DOORS IN THE UNIVERSE WILL OPEN FOR YOU & YOU WILL HAVE THE HAPPIEST LIFE & THEY WILL WISH THEY TREATED YOU DIFFERENTLY. TRUST ME I RECEIVE MESSAGES FROM PEOPLE THAT USED TO BULLY ME ALL THE TIME 😂 THEY WANT TO BE FRIENDS NOW. FUNNY HOW LIFE WORKS.
MY NEW FAVORITE THING TO DO IS HIDE KIND MESSAGES ON LEAFS SO STRANGERS FIND THEM & FEEL LIKE THE UNIVERSE IS TALKING TO THEM 🍂😄✨ You don’t need to wait to have millions of dollars to start doing something for others. Money is not the only thing this world is missing. COMPASSION. UNDERSTANDING. TIME. CARING. Those are things humans around the world really need right now more than ever. And you have this all already in you you. So please remember to share it around and be good to each other ✨Thank you. Love you all. And appreciate you all for reading my weird thoughts.