Kristen Perino, author of From #Selfie to SelflessKristen Perino’s recently released book, From #Selfie to Selfless: Living the Life You Were Created For, takes a personal look at areas of life where we can shift our gazes from inward to upward, resulting in a more fulfilled, purpose-driven life. In it, she recognizes both timeless and trendy ways selfishness can creep into our lives and warp our perspectives. 

Perino, a fashion PR professional and Instagram enthusiast, was well-armed to promote her book before it was even written. After admiring her promotional activity through her pictures, we knew we had to get the inside scoop into her PR approach—and how she keeps from backsliding into a more inward-focused approach to #selfies.

Launch Parties

Book launch parties are common among our authors. Perino had two, drawing heavily on her PR experience. She designed both these parties to not only promote and celebrate her book, but to grow her message. Still, they were designed with strategic differences.

“I did one that was just a launch party with people from church, family, friends,” Perino says. “A celebration, come one come all.” She spoke about the book and hosted a question and answer session. There was plenty of space to just enjoy the celebration—and, of course, take pictures.

“I made my own photo booth there—made the whole photo booth for about $30.” She knew it was important to have photo opportunities. “You want the party to be as Instagramable as possible. It’s so important to have the visuals that will entice people to take a photo and want to share.”

“The second event I considered more of a press dinner,” Perino continues. “I do this at work all the time when we have a new collection coming out. … I took the information I know and translated it to #Selfie to Selfless.” While this event was a celebration as well, it took a different tone, with a different setting and a select set of guests. “I had friends of mine who are influencers, whether press, editors, [or] talent,” she says.

 “I set up the dinner table very strategically, so that it was more of a round table. I wanted it to be more of a discussion—‘What does selflessness look like to you?’”

YOU CAN SIT WITH US…if you’re willing to chat about selflessness 😬👊🏻👊🏾👊🏽👊🏿👊🏼✨💯💥 Tonight was stupidly amazing. 🙏🏼 To have 15 different INCREDIBLE influencers gathered around one table, all from different backgrounds/faith/ethnicity, all talking about what SELFLESSNESS looks like in everyday life, how WE can be the change, sharing jokes & laughter, ALL WHILE “breaking bread” together around one dinner table. If I could bottle this night up & keep it forever, I would. It gave me hope again in humanity. It gave me a new found Love for Los Angeles, and what it looks like to work in entertainment. It gave me genuine EXCITEMENT about friendships. It gave me a fierce confidence that, YES, WE CAN BE THE CHANGE. But we can’t do it alone. START THE CONVERSATION. ✨✨✨✨ . . . #SelfieToSelflesz #Hope #WeRise #Hallelujah #YesWeCan #LetsDoThis #SelflessSquad #ILoveLA #FightLikeAGirl #DinnerTime

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It was important to Perino to cross boundaries and have influencers from multiple backgrounds at the table—to overcome division. These fifteen guests, each with their own background, joined her in agreement “that we do need to be a little more selfless in this world, we do need to use [our platforms] for something other than ourselves.”

And yes, inviting people from different backgrounds meant including those who aren’t Christians. While Perino is driven by her relationship with Jesus Christ, she doesn’t want her message about selflessness to be confined to the typical Christian circles. As she relates in “Chapter 0” of From #Selfie to Selfless, she learned early in the writing process that she wasn’t called to fit in the mold of what she thought was a “Christian writer.” As an extension, she believes her message is meant to reach outside the normal realm of Christian culture as well.

“I think it all comes down to love,” she emphasizes. “I know that sounds cliche, but it’s love and action. Our world has gotten so hellbent on titles: you’re Christian, Muslim, atheist… If we just look back at the Bible, Jesus looked past titles, he just came and loved, he gave God’s love. And to be honest, it’s not going to be my words that will changing anything; it will be God’s love that will change things, and that is what I hope people feel, and come to know.”

On Instagram: Authentic but Selective

Long before the launch parties, Perino was cultivating an Instagram page for From #Selfie to Selfless. Her PR experience had taught her that this photo-centered social network was essential to marketing. “It’s probably one of the greatest tools we have for any young business,” she says. “[It’s a] free, powerful tool to connect with people.” But because of this, “It’s overly saturated, and it’s hard to find your voice, set yourself apart.”

In order to set yourself apart, she says, “You have to really stay focused on what your message is, and what you’re posting. I have my personal account, and I have my Selfie to Selfless account.” Her personal account is more “emotional, on the seat of my pants. It’s my organic life. Selfie to Selfless is still definitely my life… but I don’t want Selfie to Selfless to be scattered. I want people to follow and know what they’re going to get.”

So Perino keeps goals in mind when she posts: “[I hope that they] get to know Jesus. I hope that they will laugh. I hope that they will feel understood. I hope that they don’t feel so alone. And I hope they get inspired as well.

“It’s not about being fake,” she explains. “It’s just knowing what message you’re trying to get out. … We need to be very clear. Keep it as tailored as possible.” So she tailors each Instagram story, photo, and giveaway for the account, while representing herself in an honest way. And Perino’s authentic-but-tailored approach to Instagram has indeed born fruit.

“It has been phenomenal,” she affirms. “I have been getting so many direct messages from people wanting to get involved. I have been hearing some amazing stories.” Some people message her wanting to get involved in service; others message her to tell her how she has encouraged them.

Perino’s followers particularly value her honesty about her imperfections. She posts candid videos and photos with honest captions describing areas she’s struggled or recently messed up—whether as she rushed to church, felt less-than-grateful about a gift, or otherwise.

“It’s about being completely honest. … Part of selflessness is humbling myself, sharing imperfections.” And when she does that, she receives messages: “Thank you for saying something, so I don’t feel alone.”

Keeping Perspective

So, how does Perino promote her book, her message, and herself without it becoming all about her? From the outside, it might look almost impossible to really post all these pictures of yourself, share so many of the good causes you’re involved in, without it becoming a selfish endeavor. And Perino has been aware of this tension from the beginning. Yes, God calls her to this, and he wants to use her unique voice—but this is still for him.

….because selfless friendships are my FAVORITE!!! Surround yourself with people who INSPIRE you, light up your heart, share wisdom, and always encourage. Let’s GET SELFLESS TOGETHER!!! Trust me, it’s a lot more FUN when sharing these experiences with friends. • Read “From #Selfie to Selfless” in a group (even if that group is two). There is strength in numbers, and sometimes you’ll NEED strength to get selfless, because it’s not always easy! There are discussion at the end of each chapter because it’s meant to be DISCUSSED, challenged, shared. What inspires your crew to be a little more selfless? LETS DO THIS!! 👯‍♀️👊🏼👊🏿👊🏽👊🏻👊🏾💜💯💥 . . . #SelfieToSelfless #Hope #Joy #Friendships #Happiness #Share #WeRise #YesWeCan #BeTheChange #FightLikeAGirl #LetsDoThis #LiveInLove #Smile #Shine

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“I knew that it was going to be coming from me, but it’s not about me,” she says. “It’s a humbling [process] every single day. I am here to be the hands and feet.” And she knows she needs to keep herself in check, to remind herself of this.

“I’m big on Post-it notes,” she says, and references a section in her book about her tendency toward distraction. Messages on Post-it notes remind her to bring the focus back to God. “It’s a constant, constant focus of just reminding myself of what I’m doing, what the point is, who I’m serving, keeping it simple.”

With that in mind, Perino continues to invite people to join her in turning their view from themselves to God and others. Her book From #Selfie to Selfless is a big part of that, but her Instagram—which she uses to further this messages—is at least as important. She has successfully taken what she knows about fashion PR and turned it around not just to promote the book—or even herself as the author—but to promote a perspective, one centered on love and service.

Want to learn more about Perino—and maybe join her journey from #selfie to selfless? Check out these links:

From #Selfie to Selfless website

Selfie to Selfless Instagram

Our page for her book