Happy Labor Day! I finally have a minute to sit down and share my experience from Create & Cultivate. First off, I would recommend Create & Cultivate to anyone that hasn’t been before. You are among the best and brightest female entrepreneurs who are so empowering, hard working, and have such an interesting story. For those of you who don’t know what Create & Cultivate is, it’s a one day conference that brings women together from different industries all over the world like public relations, marketing, tech and social media. Topics discussed range from how to build your own personal brand to owning your own business to building the most effective team.
Today I’m sharing my top takeaways from the conference about what inspired me most and what stuck!
Brand Partnerships: It’s not all about you
As an influencer, it’s not always about what a brand can do for you, but what can you bring to a brand. It is easy to be in the mind set of “This brand can bring me XYZ because….” but why do YOU fit the brand how can you take the partnership to a whole new unique level?
A few quick thoughts on pitching brands too: you must plan in advance and be thoughtful about who you are pitching. Don’t email a brand with 1 week notice asking to partner- it makes you appear as disorganized and you aren’t being thoughtful in your partnership. If it’s summer, start planning for fall, if it’s fall, start planning for winter content. Brands appreciate and respect when you give them a good amount of notice and when you paint the whole picture describing what a potential partnership would look like.
So what does the partnership look like? One thing that brands are thinking when they read your email is: What makes this blogger different than the 3 other blogger emails I received today? You must remain consistent and genuine to your personal brand but highlight what makes you different and stand out among others.
Also, don’t have the mind set of “it’s my way or the highway.” Successful partnerships meet halfway because that’s what collaborating is all about. If you don’t feel comfortable with what the brand is asking of you, bring another strong alternative that the brand may like. Always look at brand partnerships from a long term perspective – not something that is one and done – and treat everyone with respect.
Working with a TEAM
I loved hearing from the panelists about the teams that they work with – which ranged from a team of 2 to 140,000 – and what an effective team looks like to them. Everyone wants the best for their team, but it is crucial that everyone is on the same page and has similar goals. This means being completely transparent with your teams about what you are trying to accomplish, and making sure that everyone is on the same path on how you are going to get there. When talking about teams, the panel also made a great point about how to be an indispensable team member, but still stand out in a positive light. Make friends with your colleagues, listen to their thoughts and opinions for fresh perspectives, know what you want and go after it.
Even companies like Microsoft are pushing collaboration and team work. Ever heard of Microsoft Teams? It is similar to Microsoft Outlook but everything is in one place: documents, Skype, Powerpoints, chats. Think if Google, Dropbox, Skype and Microsoft WRD had a baby- this is what Microsoft Teams is, and everyone can be using this platform at the same time and edit/update documents. It is amazing even from a brand perspective how technology is a key component in successful team work, and it shows! I use Microsoft Teams at work all the time and I love it.
Driving traffic to your blog and video content
Did you know by pinning your photos to your Pinterest and linking the source as your blog, it generates more traffic and visibility to your blog? Bingo! I did know about this but it was something I needed to be reminded of and need to do more of because sometimes I focus so much on my blog and Instagram, I forget about all of these other great channels that are great opportunities to drive traffic to my blog.
So what else is up and coming in the social media landscape? Video content creation has only begun and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. While I may have started blogging a it late in the game, I am not going to make the same mistake twice and miss golden opportunities like Instagram TV to create fun and colorful content through different verticals. This is a way to make your content different and stand out among others.
People are interested in the REAL you
People don’t want your life to be staged. People want to see the real you – the ups and the downs – because that’s how we as humans can relate to one another. Show people the moments you are so proud of, and share your thoughts on topics that are important to you (that people might not even know about!) People are only getting smarter when it comes to social media which means they can see through the fake, staged moments. Share what you want to share, but make it real and relate able.
Again, all in all I would recommend Create and Cultivate to anyone because I walked away feeling so inspired, empowered and grateful for the chance to meet so many amazing women.