I came home from my whirlwind trip to NYC with a composition notebook half full of notes upon notes from all the amazing sessions I attended. Entrepreneurs, young woman like myself, who found a niche and have learned to excel at that they do shared their knowledge with us and it was a lot to digest. I’m still mulling over everything I saw and have some really cool ideas for the future. However, what’s the point of all this knowledge if I can’t share it with YOU? Without further ado, here are the 10 things I learned at Lucky fabb:
1) Celebrities (Kate Bosworth, Eva Mendes, Tamara Mellon) are very personable and engaging in person. You can see why they are famous. They have the it factor that makes them extremely relatable. From a huge room of 300 bloggers, to a more intimate setting, these women shared their views and fashion inspiration as well as tips for how to succeed in business. They made eye contact, answered questions honestly and created a feeling that they wanted to be there.
2) Apparently, hideous orthopedic shoes are in. From the hard to find all black Birkenstocks, to all white nurse style shoes worn with socks, thicker soled and very un-fashion shoes are what the editors of Lucky are wearing. With socks and dresses, of course. I’m still mulling over the relevance of this fad in my life.
3) It’s important to create a call to action on your blog. What is the point of it? Create meaning and a reason for people to read your blog beside beautiful outfits and photos. You are the expert, so find a way to show what you know and figure out what your readers want.
4) When working with advertising and sponsors, find a way to create native advertising. This means creating content for an advertiser that fits into the content of where it is placed. I like to create posts for my sponsors that read less like a print ad with facts and links, but fit within my story and how I use it in my life. Ads that fit into the context of a blog and look less obvious are also forms of native advertising, as are sponsored tweets and posts on Twitter and Facebook. When working with possible advertisers, bring up this buzzword and you will look like you are in step with the current trends in advertising (as you are!)
5) This is something that takes time and a bit of discipline when it comes to blogging and all the free stuff you may encounter, but make sure you only work with brands that are a reflection of you. This may seem like a no brainer, but it is surprising how many opportunities you get as a blogger to receive free things. It’s sort of flattering and intoxicating, and easy to say yes to everything and everyone that offers money. Don’t. You see, after awhile you will develop trust with your readers. They will look at what you are offering and may choose to buy because of it. If products aren’t what you say they are, or worse, if they suspect you are posting just for money, you will lose their trust. For myself I know that my readers trust means a lot to me. People show up and read my posts and engage with me in comments and email and this is wonderful. I say no to many more opportunities than I say yes to. If I show a product I make sure it is from a store that I would shop at with my own money. I hope this shows that I respect YOU and know you are smart enough to see whether I am being honest enough about what I like. (Target.)
6) One thing that I heard that immediately struck a nerve with me was to produce content that I myself would like to consume. What blogs and magazines do I read and why? What keeps me coming back for more? I have some fun ideas that I plan on to help in this area, as I think this space is lacking a bit in what I ultimately would like to create.
Also, make sure you self check yourself, often. Are you creating an experience for your readers that is easy and enjoyable? Take the time to look through your own blog and discover what is missing and fix it.
P.S. One of the biggest pet peeves of bloggers? Having to click on posts to “read more” within a blog (too much work) and asking a question at the end of blog posts (guilty!)
7) Use social media to your advantage and realize that every social media platform has its purpose. When sharing your posts on Twitter, Facebook, etc, try chopping it up and sharing different bits depending on your audience on each one. I know my Facebook audience is different than my Instagram one and I pull out different parts of my posts to draw in these different audiences. Try not to share the same phrase in multiple places.
Remember, social media is a branding tool and you need to be aware of how you look across each outlet and what you are sharing.
8) Make sure you take risks! Learning is uncomfortable and that nauseous feeling you get when you try something different? That’s good! Get out of your routine, shake things up and don’t be afraid of failing. Every successful business owner I heard speak at Lucky fabb had failed, many times. Being tenacious, always learning and growing, and paying it forward were the biggest tips to making it in in any business venture.
9) Make sure you are targeting brands for sponsorships. Send emails and proposals (with your best idea in the subject line) and give people a reason to work with you. Create great content on a daily basis and people with want to be a part of your brand. The biggest phrase? Polite tenacity. Don’t be afraid to work for what you want and not to give up after the first reject.
10) Lastly, what is your measurement for success? Write it down. Create a business plan and goals (both long and short term) so you can see, in black and white, where you’ve been and where you want to end up. Do you want to create an income? A career? Or do you want a hobby? What exactly do you want for yourself and your business? For me I know I want to create an online magazine of sorts, with tips and amazing content and a place to write daily.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a business plan to write;)