Devin Bender #023
Big John sits down with the delightful Devin Bender to discuss how a recent college grad has achieved so much so soon in her career. Devin is a social media influencer, Playboy model, and recent graduate of Florida State University. Topics include; Healthy living, Brands approaching social influencers, how to have a healthy relationship with social media and where to get the best chicken wings in the country – Devin’s “it can’t hurt to try” attitude is as infectious as she is!
The Risk of Trying: Social Media Stardom with Devin Bender
Devin Bender is a social media influencer, former Playboy model, and recent graduate of Florida State University.
She graduated with a degree in Business Marketing with the hope of going into event marketing, sales, or anything in that arena. Like many, her plans shifted a bit due to the global pandemic. Devin started using her social media platform to get her name out there and began building her network for professional opportunities.
Becoming a Social Media Influencer
How did Devin Bender become an influencer with close to 100,000 followers on Instagram? Is it something you plan, or does it just happen?
For Devin, most of her following came from her experience with Playboy. From there, her following and popularity increased rapidly. She works with brands and non-paid partnerships helping with COVID relief, as well as friends who reach out.
She has found that she increases her followers the more she works with companies and brands on social media.
It’s important to note that the world of social media and branding came as a surprise to Devin. When starting college, she had around 8,000 followers, if that. In four years, that number grew by 90,000.
Getting Started with Playboy
Despite it being an iconic brand that many don’t like to speak about, Playboy is still a cultural staple. Like her skyrocketing presence in social media platforms, her popularity wasn’t something Devin Bender was planning.
She happened to see an online application for Playboy’s college girl edition. Not expecting anything to come from it, she applied, sent in some photos, and decided to give it a try. They contacted her, asked for more photos, and it took off from there.
For Devin, it was an incredible experience. She had fun, she loved the people she worked with, and she felt comfortable and empowered. She realized she could have a college degree, model, and try anything she was interested in. After all, choosing to explore her options didn’t mean she had to stick to it.
The college girl edition showcased college-educated women who could still pose in Playboy.
Devin considers Playboy her base, and always recommends people to give it a try. If you don’t ask the question, the answer is always going to be no.
Devin Bender Reveals Her Best-Kept Secrets
Maybe it’s a secret, maybe it’s not, but Devin is very passionate about chicken wings. Whenever and wherever she goes out, she knows she’s going to try the wings.
Devin has chosen to disclose her two favorite wings and where you can find them.
- Mild/Hot Wings: Palermo’s pizza in Williamstown, New Jersey. It’s just a little pizza shop, but to Devin, it’s so much more.
- Golden Nugget: A little dive bar in a small New Jersey town.
Unfortunately, Devin no longer lives in the area and claims that Florida has disappointed her so far. Currently, she’s on the search for her favorite wing place in Florida, and she’s looking for applicants!
To Florida businesses out there making wings, it’s time to step up your game.
Influencers as Brand Ambassadors
In the brand marketing business, a beautiful woman can sometimes struggle with seeming unapproachable. People can be standoffish and men can be intimidated.
As Devin Bender entered the world of modeling and brand ambassadorship, she found her skills weren’t just in the physical, but also in building personal relationships. Since Devin is an articulate, warm, and approachable woman, people felt more comfortable following her despite regularly not following influencers and models.
This unique skill set has led Devin to a niche of brand deals that consider identity paramount to their business. Some of these brands include Manscaped, online casinos from New Jersey, yoga and fitness fashion centers, and local businesses like meal prep companies and medical spas in New Jersey.
Devin considers her personal opinion to be more important than the money she might earn. Being passionate about the brands she works with is paramount to Devin, and while you’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way, she is adamant that believing in the product or service you are representing makes all the difference with your audience.
Given the current Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been reminded that we have to be focused on value creation. That means we have to be more centered on each other, and less on consumerism and mechanism.
Maintaining a Healthy Relationship with Social Media
The older you get, the more you realize that it isn’t about the material things, pride, or ego, it’s about our hearts and who they beat for. Unfortunately, social media can cause us to lose sight of this truth and leads us to create an unhealthy relationship with social media and our self-image. To combat this, Devin Bender focuses a lot on her passions, her people, and her “why.”
Her mantra is “to live life, be nice to people, and do the best you can for everyone and for yourself.” Her heart beats for the people that help her live a happy life along with a healthy lifestyle, and for those who give her the opportunity to share her happiness with other people. Many people think of happiness as an external destination, when in reality it’s something inside of us.
It’s easy to get lost in your social media platforms, but it’s also possible to keep a healthy balance.
The truth is that this phenomenon affects everyone, and Devin is no exception. Sometimes, when she posts a cute photo that she’s excited about, she gets disappointed or insecure when it doesn’t get as many likes as she expected. From people who have 5,000 followers to those with more than 95,000, everyone has moments of feeling intimidated.
You have to condition yourself to truly believe that comments don’t matter, and that you should just post what you want to post.
Second, you need to use your Instagram in a way that shows what you’re passionate about, not just to compare yourself to others.A lot of the younger kids on social media are struggling with this. They’re comparing themselves to people who have thousands of followers, famous TikTokers, people who can dance or sing, or those telling good stories.
Instead, show who you are and do what you love. Focus less on what everyone else is doing, following trends, and hitting the algorithm.