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FLEB Marketing Tactic #1 Fake Authority

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Written by Kelly Diels

Day 1 of How To Spot a Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand (FLEB).⁠⠀

If you’re a consumer, this crash course can help you make an informed, powerful decision about who you offer your time, money, and attention to.⠀

If you’re an entrepreneur, download this free 10-day class to help you audit your own business practices, so that you can:⠀

  1. Bake justice into your business practices and marketing (and flourish while you do that)⠀
  2. Make sure you’re creating the social and client impact you intended⠀


Problematic FLEB Tactic #1:

Manufacture fake authority ⠀

Authority is a social/mental trigger. When humans pick up certain signals, we associate them with leadership & authority and subconsciously accept/obey/follow their directives. Note: This happens at the level of subconsciousness.⠀

FLEBS use highly feminized photos of themselves in luxury locations with luxury objects in order to quickly manufacture authority. These things signal high social status, wealth & privilege. Subconsciously, we associate those status signals with leadership…which means in sales funnels we’re predisposed to obey and buy. Again: this is being deliberately triggered by the FLEB but happening below the level of consciousness in the consumer.⠀


Feminist Business Practice #1:

Lead with your substance and REAL authority⠀

Instead of signalling privilege to manufacture (fake) authority, lead with your ideas. Your client outcomes. Your lineage. Your cultural analysis. Your actual expertise, qualifications and experience. Your training. Your justice commitments. Your passions. The objects you create. Your process. Your lived experience.⠀

Show up with your whole self and your substance.⠀

That’s the source of real leadership and authority.⠀

And…yes, that kind of ‘authority’ DOES build thriving, sustainable businesses. ⠀

We’re trying to market our WORK…so how ‘bout we market our work?⠀

What is the female lifestyle empowerment brand (FLEB)

and why is it a problem?


  • Conform to the cultural demands of Ideal Femininity in order to rise
  • Reinforces gender dualist/binary


  • Display wealth, privilege & leisure in order to manufacture social authority over other womxn


  • Use the language of feminism & social change to bait a womxn into following/buying… while doing (oppressive) business as usual.
  • Conflates individual success with collective empowerment (they are not the same thing)


  • Teach womxn how to style themselves as saleable, consumable objects in order to ‘succeed’
  • Asks us to erase ourselves in order to perform a brand character

(I promise, it works. I’m doing it right now.)


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be willing to be uncomfortABLE

Don’t (Just) Unfriend Them

Every week, I send you a

Sunday Love Letter

I write them so that…

  1. You remember your culture-making power
  2. You have the inspiration + tools you need to grow a business that generates money AND justice

Let’s create a future in which we all flourish.

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