Two weeks ago, Independent Fashion Blogger contributor Lisa Valerie Morgan (@lisavmorgan) of Pretty Little Shopper's had the chance to attend SIMPLY LA Conference series on behalf of IFB. She shares some of the biggest takeaways of her day below.
On August 11th, I had the opportunity to attend the SIMPLY LA conference series on behalf of IFB. Obviously, I couldn’t help but jump at the chance!
This was my second time attending a SIMPLY conference series – and it was just as fun and informative as ever. The thing I was most impressed with this time around, was how founder Sarah Boyd (@sarahpboyd) managed to tailor the conference to the rapidly changing blogging and influencing world of 2018. SIMPLY did a great job of curating the session, and the speakers appealed to both newbie and seasoned bloggers.
“The more authentic you are, the more real you are, the more people will follow you” were the words of advice from SIMPLY LA’s morning Keynote Speaker Emeraude Toubia (@emeraude), and they emerged as the theme for the entire day! Scroll down for more words of advice from the conference and tips for attending the next Simply near you.
Authenticity + Skill: The Recipe For Growing Your Blog in 2018
According to top blogger and Bless Box Founder Sazan Hendrix (@sazan), it's super important to post authentic content – especially in 2018. Don’t alienate your followers when working with brands.
Sazan also mentioned that her following spiked when she had a baby and broke down influencers into three categories: 1) Has the skill but isn’t authentic, 2) Authentic, but doesn’t have the skill and 3) Has skill AND authenticity, which is the recipe for 2018 to grow in a saturated blogger market.
Vlogger Alisha Marie (@alisha) started ten years ago, but for the first three years “nothing happened”. She finally realized that “people like being in on your life and being in on the whole story.” Influencer Ale La Chula (@styledbyale) echoed those sentiments when she found her audience really liked being in on it when she shared that she was trying to have a baby.
Jeannie Mai (@thejeanniemai) told her story of getting relentlessly teased as a child with chicken legs and a head gear. Her mother told her, “they make fun, you make money” and she’s embraced the “own your sh*t, before they do” mentality as part of her secret to success.
Life is truly one big lesson in self-esteem, so own it and claim it.
Getting Started on Blogging in 2018
Be consistent and know that it’s gonna take a LOT of hard work. Post and let it go. Don’t expect overnight success! You have to have passion.
Set micro goals for yourself every day. Micro, short-term and long-term goals. Sazan declared that “I still have those things today. I’m not just chilling on my couch.”
Find out what the conversation is and put your own twist on it. Paying attention to what’s going on in your industry and niche market is really important.
Consistently tag brands to get their attention so they will repost you. Brands are looking for people with an active and engaged following. Offer up a brand some content you’ve already made for them.
Promote your content at different times. Maybe someone missed it so you can promote it a week later.
Squad Up: Knowing When to Grow and Scale Your Business
“…Stick to your job, stay in school and understand it’s very, very hard to grow and get to the level of Aimee (Song),” Alexander said. “Brands don’t care as much about how big your audience is…they care about your story and the audience you reach.”
She also advised bloggers and influencers to spend money on creating a really good media kit and encouraged us to provide value and find a way to show that value to your network.
Influencers and new entrepreneur’s Marcus Floruss (@marcelfloruss), Lauren Bushnell (@laurenbushnell) and Lilit Caradanian (@lilitcaradanian) all had great advice for scaling your influence into a brand.
Marcus is the founder of a new shoe line and he pointed out the importance of loving your product. “Love what you’re trying to do, because it will take a long time and you’ll make mistakes along the way.”
Lauren seconded those sentiments.
“You don’t know what you’re gonna learn until you learn it,” she said. She also was quick to point out that the process of growing is huge, and that it's important to ask questions and “pick people’s brains until they’re sick of you.”
Elcie Cosmetics founder Lilit’s words of advice were to “stay focused on where you’re going to avoid getting distracted and don’t worry about everyone else.”
As a manager to dozens of successful bloggers and influencers (and former blogger herself), Beca had a particularly visionary and realistic view of the industry.
“Tell the full story… there’s a reason that lifestyle has become a trend,” she said.
And everyone on the Squad Up panel agreed that “you can’t do everything alone and don’t even try. (Sometimes) You don’t need an agency. You need a lawyer and an accountant.”
“There’s room for everyone,” Lauren reminded us. “It’s so easy to compare yourself and compare your life, but it takes you away from your goals and focus. Everyone brings something unique to the table.”
How to Maximize (and Enjoy) Your Day at SIMPLY
- Wear comfortable shoes (I can’t even begin to tell you how much I wish I took my own advice this last time around)
- Travel light. Bring a small tote bag for necessities and leave the DSLR at home (you can get all the photos you need on your cell and save yourself the hassle of lugging around too much stuff)
- Take notes.SIMPLYwill provide you with a notebook and pen (another reason you’ll want that tote).
- Snap your photos early in the day when the lighting is good and displays (and your makeup) are still fresh.SIMPLYis notorious for providing great photo opportunities so use your cell phone to take advantage.
- Dress to impress! You are your own business card and having a fabulous #ootd is a great conversation starter at a blogger conference.
- Visit the “Brand Experience” portion of the event earlier in the day. Some of the vendors will close up early or run out of samples later in the day.
- Check your itinerary the night before the conference and make note of the speakers and brands you really want to see. Some things overlap, so be sure to prioritize and plan your day.
- Instagram, Tweet and share Stories to your heart's content. Be sure to label your photos with the proper conference and speaker handles, hashtags and locations to optimize your discoverability.
- Bring business cards. Get cards from everyone you meet and follow up. Don’t forget to exchange Instagram handles too.
- Bring an extra phone charger. Trust me, you’ll need it.
- Stay hydrated.
- Bring your blogger bestie and make new friends as well. I ended up meeting one of my closest blogger friends at SIMPLY two years ago and this year finally got to meet some of my Instagram friends IRL!
If you have the opportunity to attend a SIMPLY conference, go for it! I learned so many valuable pieces of information from both SIMPLY LA conferences along with their blog, newsletter and secret FB group (you have to attend to get in).
Big thanks to Lisa for covering SIMPLY LA! Be sure to check her out at @lisavmorgan and on prettylittleshoppers.com You can find out more about the next SIMPLY Conferences and events at simply-inc.com