The day I realized that I was really going to attend #BloggyBootCamp Atlanta was one I had been working towards since the start of my site in August of 2014. I had done a lot of research on blogging and the blogging community long before I actually launched my domain and part of that research was the amazing SITSGirls Community. I fell in love with the women and leaders immediately. I could see their support in action through the SITSGirls Facebook Page, LinkUps and continued efforts to promote and encourage the Bloggers that sought them out. I knew I wanted to be a part and that this community would have a major impact on my success.
I was right. It was with the SITSGirls that I had my very first words of encouragement. One day a question was posted to their Facebook Page: “If you could describe yourself in one tagline what would it be?” I remember I was hesitant at first because although I followed the page I still hadn’t officially launched my site. Still I answered: “Just being myself! Always and in all situations…get to know me I’ll make ya laugh think and even wonder but I’ll never bore you…”
A few hours later I noticed someone had replied to my comment. It was Tiffany Romero! She said that was a great tagline and she would use it herself! Those few words and bit of interaction are probably something I am sure Tiffany doesn’t even remember BUT to me it gave me that final push into a passion I could not imagine myself without now – Blogging. That tagline became my very first Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Bio…it was my start and without Tiffany’s support in action that day I’m not sure if I would have gone forward in the same way and with the same confidence.
So on session day of #BloggyBootCamp Atlanta when Tiffany walked in I was in total fandom mode. I knew she was a woman, wife and mother just like me but she was also a big part of the reason I had taken the first steps into my Blogger journey. It was because of her few words of encouragement that I felt my words would have impact and that my voice was something someone may actually want to hear. Here she was right in front of me willing and ready to share her years of knowledge and experience. What!?!? Notebook Out! Pen Ready!
Now I can’t share all of the beautiful goodness of #BloggyBootCamp Atlanta but I can give a few nuggets…
You Are An Influencer!
The first thing Tiffany shared with us is that as Bloggers we are Influencers. We are the ones who help bring Brands to the reality of what a woman, wife and mother expects, appreciates and will be willing to share about a product. We need to know that we hold that power. As Bloggers, we can now take that as our own. Tiffany told us to stop describing ourselves as Bloggers as change that to Influencer, Social Media Expert or even Editor.
This really makes a lot of sense. We are definitely a big part of so many different areas of the market and our ‘influence’ is valuable not only in theory but in cold hard statistics. So why not use that to our own advantage?
Next Tiffany touched on how to make your site appealing to Brands and PR Firms. What appeals to the eye? What draws people in and grabs their attention. Aesthetics. The look. Pay attention to you colors, fonts and themes. Don’t loose your audience before they have a chance to read a single word.
Make sure your important information is priority. Those Social Media Icons? Up top right hand corner. This is where they look and this is where they should be. I was so excited by these amazing tips, I switched up my Social Media Icon location right there as she spoke. No time to waste right? 🙂
Give a way for people to reach you. Have you email address in plain view.
Imagery is key. Have quality photos that help to tell and enhance your story.
A lot of us have Blogs and attend events within our community but does your community know you? Don’t be afraid to make an impact. Get out there. Introduce yourself to local stores, businesses, leaders and let them know you are there and a part of the community. Attend, Support and Share.
Invest In Yourself
I know I have hesitated in purchasing ads and boost on social networks like Facebook but Tiffany gave some really great advice that has me leaning a bit more towards it. If you aren’t willing to invest in your passion why would you expect someone else to?
As CoFounder of The Sway Group, Tiffany is in the position to get an inside look at what brands are looking for when selecting sites and Influencers to promote their products and services.
When you land that perfect sponsored post don’t just check off the To Do List. Exceed their expectations. Go that extra step and set yourself up to leave lasting impression. They notice. You can make your site and work known for being a bit more than they expected and also the one they look for that next campaign.
Brands have PR Companies who can write that catchy pitches and jingles. When they comet o a Blogger – an Influencer they are looking for that authenticity that will ring true with the consumers and potential clients. So when you write a review be authentic. Stay true to who you are as a person and use that voice.
Save the sales for the Brand and instead offer your true-to-life take on things. Your Readers will relate and the Brands will appreciate that unique perspective.
After Tiffany we were given the amazing opportunity to hear from an amazing panel of Public Relations Representatives for several major brands.
It was so interesting to hear the PR side of things and what they truly expect from Influencers.
Lunch was sponsored by Personal Black Box and speaker Nell Merlino. She shared a lot of her personal story with us including the impact her Mother’s strength and endurance during a time when women in the workforce was not always the norm. I was amazed to find out that Nell Merlino was actually the creator of the Bring Your Daughter To Work Day which started in 1994! Leave it to SITSGirls to bring us such amazing speakers!
We went on to learn how the data we generate on nearly a daily basis could actually have the potential to earn money for not only us but the brands and companies who want to use that data for their benefit. This is the foundation of Personal Blackbox and what they are in the process of establishing. I was definitely intrigued and excited to see where this company is headed when it launches.
— MrsTee (@mrsteeh) October 11, 2014
Next up on the amazing its of topics we were going to hear about was how to Master Pinterest.
Did you know there is a limit to how many Pins you should do in a day? Just like Twitter Jail, Pinterest can target your activity and actually shut you down for a bit. I Know! I. Had. NO. Idea. So Pin in spurts and in moderation.
Guess what else? Hashtags on Pinterest don’t really matter instead separate your tag words like this:
Crockpot | Fall | Recipes
Good to know right? We learned this and so many other amazing Pinterest tips from Presenter Anna Luther of LifeAndKidsBlog.
Do you run Giveaways? Well we had the chance to learn all the Ins and Outs of running a successful Giveaway from Presenter Liza Hippler. Not only did she give us the legal terms and guidelines but a few great tips as well…
* Have the Brand ship to winner – takes out t he middle man and ensures the winner receives prize as fast as possible
*Submit your Giveaway to several Giveaway sites to help with promotion
*Don’t run a Giveaway for longer than 2 weeks – anything longer can wear on the patience of the entrants and even become a burden to you.
Now what is the main purpose of any Blog? To share content. Allison Barrett Carter gave us an amazing presentation on how to create content that not only keeps your Readers attention and interest but will also keep sponsors coming back.
*Know who you are – as a writer, as a brand and as an Influencer. If you know who you are you know who your audience is and what they want to read.
*Use Content, Title and Images wisely – invest time in SEO and smart sharing.
*Use Communities – this was the part that definitely caught my attention. Allison mentioned a few popular linkups and communities that can help you not only share you content but create a tribe of support for your content. I was beyond excited when #AskAwayFriday was listed among them.
To close us out Tiffany and Danielle Smith of Danielle Smith TV shared a few inspirational quotes and what it means to them to learn how to stop ‘chasing balance’ and instead allow themselves to power down and admit they can’t do it all.
To say that Tiffany and Danielle became transparent would be such an inadequate description. I never expected to feel so connected to anyone at this conference. These two Ladies shared their stories of discovery, realization and acceptance of who they were and where they wanted to be in their journeys and it left me with an understanding that my struggles are not unique. Someone else has been here and made it and to me that means hope.
By the end of our day of sessions I was so full. Full of knowledge, excitement and expectation for where this information could take me and my dream. Sitting there and seeing the full support of not only Tiffany and her amazing SITSGIrls Team but all of the Presenters in action was such an amazing experience. These ladies took the SITSGirls motto and brought it to life…
Oh…the fun wasn’t completely over – stay tuned to see my very first sip of wine thanks to the Close Out Party sponsored by Mirassou Winery.
— MrsTee (@mrsteeh) October 11, 2014