Missed the SC Conference 2018 last weekend? IFB's Contributor Jamie Madden gives a rundown of what went down in Raleigh, at Style Collective's first conference.
Empowered, uplifted, energized, confident and inspired.
That is how I felt leaving last Sunday evening after the two full days of the Style Collective Conference 2018. Before Day One was over, I decided I was ready to come back next year! Both days were full of panels and workshops that left us all ready to tackle our businesses as soon as we got home.
The first day of the conference started with a heartfelt and slightly teary-eyed welcome speech from founder Annie Spano. I know I was fighting back the tears hearing the joy and pride she has for this achievement. Next, we had our influencer panel consisting of three amazing boss babes: Keke O, Holly Boyd and Courtney Inkpen.
The panel discussed everything from finding your niche to how to break into the influencer world. They also talked about what and what not to do when it comes to working with brands. I took away three key things from the panel: The first was to think about why I started-what was my purpose for embarking on this journey. Secondly, I need to be personal and be myself. Finally, always remember it's a journey, not a destination.
Build Your Brand and Discover Your Authentic Leadership Workshop
After a short break, we sat down for our first workshop: Build Your Brand and Discover Your Authentic Self. This class was taught by Annie Spano herself.
We reviewed everything from what is a brand, to the requirements needed for a strong band (there are 4 by the way), as well as how to discover what are your values. We finished by building our mission and vision statements and finding what is our true purpose.
Through these activities, I was able to dig deeper into the reason why I wanted to start blogging. I looked at all the moments in my life that led me to this point and have shaped me into the person I am now. I discovered that my mission is to bring about the knowledge that, no matter what, you ARE worthy and deserve nothing less than the best. Believing that everyone, no matter the size, has the right to feel amazing. I foresee a world where there is no more “plus size” just clothing and I envision young women and girls loving themselves and each other.
Content Planning and Writing Emotional Headlines That Convert Workshop
After lunch, we ended the day with another workshop on content planning and how to write an emotional headline. We actually planned content out for the rest of the year! We worked on setting our goals and figured out who our audience was.
At the end of the workshop, we started to tackle the rest of the year with content. Feeling so empowered after the first workshop, I knew I wanted my blog to get more personal and tell more of a story. Finally, we looked at ways to beef up our headlines to get more of an emotional response from readers and of course, clicks!
When I said I was ready for next year after the end of the day, I wasn’t exaggerating. There was much going on in my head. I had so many ideas rolling around with topics and posts I wanted to try. It had been a while since I felt this excited, inspired and empowered about my passion.
Day two was just as full as day one, with a brand panel in the morning followed my two amazing workshops.
The panel was made up of: Angel Bailey from Beam Collective, as well as Sarah Butler McKinney, and Jordan Blackwood of Kendra Scott. They talked about the best ways an influencer should approach a brand to work with them, the expectations of both parties, and things you should include when pitching a brand.
I loved the fact the panelists were open and eager to the idea of the influencers pitching a creative idea to them. So don’t be shy if you have an idea for partnership with a brand you love!
One of my biggest takeaways was that the brands are looking for information. They want their influencers to be aware of their metrics and stats so they know that the partnership will be beneficial for them as well.
Media Exposure Brand Deals and Leveling-Up Workshop
The first of the two workshops for the day was hosted by Amanda Berlin, PR Strategy Expert, and SC founder Annie. We focused on how to get what you want out of brand deals, where you go to find the right contacts and making an authentic connection with the brand.
I really enjoyed this part. It isn’t about trying to get as many paid deals and free products you can. I want to know that the brand I am working with shares the same values as I do. That way I can genuinely say that a brand means something to me. And let’s be honest, your followers can tell when you truly love and believe in something versus when you are just doing something because you have to.
If I believe in a company and what they are doing, I am going to want to shout it from the roof tops. I will work harder to get their name out there!
Ready to Launch Podcasting and Making It to The Top 10
Annie had everyone take a media personality quiz. Surprisingly, my result said I would be a good fit with podcasting.
Luckily, our second workshop was all about the ins and outs of podcasting! Perfect timing! Courtney Bentley from Fit Fierce and Fabulous podcast, alongside Annie, walked us through why we should start a podcast. They explained how it would help us achieve our goals and helped us craft intros and pitching to brands/guests.
Again, I looked backed on the things I learned on day one with Annie's brand building workshop. What do I have experience in though that would qualify me for having a podcast? My life! If I open up about my life, maybe that will encourage someone else to open up about their life. Maybe there are other people who are going through the same things I am and are looking for someone they can relate. I may not have the professional experience in styling clients, yet, but I have experience styling myself and styling my life.
“Know exactly why you started because when you are crying for two hours in a bathroom and want to give up your ‘why' will center you and help you move past the difficult times. The struggle is temporary and your legacy is forever.”
Annie Spano, Founder and CEO of Style Collective
Were you at SC Conference 2018? Let us know in the comments below, along with your favourite panel.