Florine Eppe Beauloye is an unstoppable force. Revered as one of Asia’s top 50 women leaders, her list of achievements reads like a book. She is your epitome of today’s digital entrepreneur. For one, she’s the co-founder and CEO of Moonshot Digital, a creative and digital marketing agency for premium brands staffed by some of the industry’s most brilliant minds — think former senior executives from tech giants like Google. She is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Luxe Digital, an online publication for luxury marketing professionals.
Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Beauloye grew up with a globetrotter father, who ignited the wanderlust pulsing in her veins. Her work has taken her all around the globe, helming leadership positions in varied industries. Beauloye harnesses her experiences to empower others like herself. She regularly speaks at conferences, and international events, and is the author of Shine: Digital Craftsmanship for Modern Luxury Brands, an acclaimed guide that demystifies digital marketing for brands. She also doubles up as a consultant, offering her personalised expertise to agencies. Ahead, we speak to her about her illustrious experience as a digital marketer and how brands can push ahead in the tech world.
Tell us about yourself and how you became so well-versed in digital marketing.
I’m an award-winning digital and media entrepreneur, luxury marketer, author, international speaker, and avid believer in digital as an empowering catalyst for change. I’m also the founder of Moonshot Digital, a creative and digital marketing agency for lifestyle and luxury brands and Luxe Digital, an online luxury magazine for forward-thinking leaders and modern affluent consumers.
I have a Master’s Degree in Marketing but I am very much a self-taught digital marketing expert. To be successful now and in the future, you need to be an avid learner. I wake up curious and determined to be better everyday. I’ve literally spent thousands of hours reading, discussing with other thought leaders in the industry, meeting with partners from the largest internet companies in the world, and talking with clients who are undergoing a digital transformation of their business.
The best way to learn about digital marketing and all of its components though is to experiment it hands-on. I have learned and continue to learn from actually working on projects, both personal and for clients.
- You’ve been a TV journalist, PR manager and helmed powerful roles in marketing. What struggles did you face over the years and are there common threads between them?
Sometimes it feels like I have lived many lives. These varied yet complementary experiences provided me with a holistic understanding of the marketing ecosystem, and the knowledge and skills that led me to my current ventures. I love learning something new everyday, experimenting with new approaches and creating new models for success.
I like to think of my work as a portfolio of well-integrated concepts and projects that ladder up to an overarching goal of empowerment for forward-thinking businesses and leaders. Storytelling is at the heart of it all. Discovering what is noteworthy, asking the right questions (sometimes the difficult ones), and crafting compelling stories that resonate.
While the fundamental values and principles of storytelling remained unchanged over the years, digital has forever changed how we tell stories. New content consumption patterns mean there are more ways than ever before of telling stories. And that means continuous learning and adaptation.
Plus, digital encourages a prising of immediacy. Everything is live — real-time, always on. Many businesses make the mistake to see digital projects as quick-fixes rather than a fundamental driving force, so my mission is to change this mindset. I am here to guide them through their digital transformation and empower them to achieve their long-term vision and sustainable growth.
- What’s the bravest and boldest decision you’ve ever made for your career?
Firstly, taking the leap to moving abroad. Twice. At 23, I moved from Belgium to Ireland with just basic knowledge of the English language and a suitcase full of optimism. At 28, I left Europe and relocated to booming Asia.
Both in Dublin and in Singapore, I have experienced what it’s like to land in a foreign country, having to create new relationships and prove your worth. Both times, I secured a job in less than three weeks. This international experience gave me a widened, global perspective and fresh confidence.
Secondly, crafting a dream path for myself. At 32, I went beyond my comfort zone again, leaving the security of a well-paid corporate position for entrepreneurship.
What is your journey to entrepreneurship like?
Launching my own business has been the most exciting rollercoaster ride. It has been filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, unexpected challenges, sacrifices, and rewards. But it’s an amazing journey and the excitement it holds is worth it.
As with parenting, no matter how much you prepare for the journey, or convince yourself you’re ready for it, there is simply no substitute for actually doing it.
You’re probably one of the busiest multi-hyphenates we’ll ever meet. How do you juggle it all?
I love that I have the opportunity to be a woman of many hats. Although life can feel like a constant juggling act at times, I’m committed to everything I do and try to live in the moment. There are 24 hours in a day, but I don’t let time get the better of me. I think the key is being clear on what your purpose in life is so that you can say yes to the things that matter to you, and more importantly, say no to the things that don’t. It’s all about prioritising and setting realistic expectations so you can maximise life.
No matter how busy I am, I always find ways to pause and ponder, to step back and unwind so I can recharge with positive, creative energy. By keeping my mind open to new perspectives, I make space to embrace new ideas and novel opportunities.
- As a woman leader, did you face any gender-specific issues in getting to the top?
At first glance, I am a bit of a digital darling or a chic geek on stilettos. However I don’t really see myself within the confines of a “woman entrepreneur” nor do I allow gender to become a determinant of my experience as an authentic leader with a seat at the table.
The stubborn gender and diversity gap in leadership roles, in tech even more so, is unfortunately still true. This is perhaps the biggest challenge of being a female entrepreneur: To consistently rise above gender-based expectations and biases, while embracing an unwavering dedication to being a great leader.
Authenticity is key. I don’t believe that we need to muscle our way up the career ladder though or pretend to be someone we’re not to earn respect. Instead, I focus on the value that I bring and how I can consistently perfect that. My track record does the rest of the convincing.
- How do you empower aspiring female entrepreneurs?
I love that there is an increasingly stronger knowledge community of inspirational and high-achieving women, actively supporting each other and the entrepreneurial community.
I believe it’s never been a better time to be a (woman) leader. Technology-enabled accessibility means more flexible working hours and new opportunities to balance the demands of home and business. Digital is also a fertile ground for entrepreneurs to explore business opportunities, raise our voice and get heard.
Through my talks, consultancy services and media portfolio, I equip leaders of both genders with the right tools and knowledge to create the success they deserve and help build an innovative and inclusive business landscape that creates value into this world.
Tell us more about your book Shine: Digital Craftsmanship for Modern Luxury Brands. How do luxury brands hit that ‘digital sweet spot’?
My book provides a simple framework to overcome digital overwhelm and shine online. Any business can benefit from applying some of the digital principles contained in my book to increase their brand’s online desirability and offer a more polished and first-class user experience.
It is not a technical book, nor it is about providing a magic formula for digital success. However, its recommendations and insights will lead readers through the right digital mindset for sustainable business growth. Every business has its own path to becoming digitally successful, depending on its unique set of needs and priorities. But the fundamental attributes are the same.
My Shine model provides a simple set of prerequisites to adopting the right digital mindset. It’s a constellation that connects the five main components of digital marketing and puts your niche in the centre.
There are five key pillars that businesses need to hone their “digital sweet spot”: Strategy, Holistic implementation, Intelligence, Nimbleness, and Engagement. In it, you’ll find invaluable insights and lessons gained from years of experience in marketing, real life stories from clients and the digital industry. Jargon is kept to a minimum so information and analyses are as relatable and timeless as possible.
- You also lend your expertise to brands as a consultant. Are there any success stories you can share with us?
I am purposefully selective, so I can immerse myself totally in my clients’ world with the same love, creative care and digital dedication as I do for my own businesses. This selective approach means I can proudly stand behind every ambitious project and brand I partner with.
I had the pleasure to accompany amazing brands in their journey towards digital relevance. I’ve designed and developed a website for KOHLER Design Awards that collected hundreds of submissions, supported International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) with sensory content that helped them win new contracts and increased leads by 300 percent for Maserati through social media.
I am also very proud of the work behind Luxe Digital which we launched just over a year ago. Leveraging our expertise in content marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO), we grew the online magazine entirely organically. Our readership skyrocketed. The site won multiple industry awards for its clean design and modern user experience. Our business section has become prerequisite reading to MBAs curriculum of reputable Universities and Colleges. We have partnered with world-class industry and luxury lifestyle events that share the same vision for innovation for the future. For instance, Luxury Interactive in New York, to Unbound Bahrain, Baselworld, The Singapore Yacht Show, Monaco Top Marques and more.
- What’s next for you?
I’m planning an exciting expansion to the European market. Working in digital also means I am constantly innovating, rethinking and refining my approach. I’m always scanning for inspiration, and my head is always spinning with new ideas, some of which will be tested and launched.