When I received the invite to attend the BloggerXchange 2018 Expo, I was excited and scared. Mostly because there was fear and self-doubt in my thoughts causing so many butterflies in my stomach. I had been putting myself out there lately, with my blog and social media posts, and my brain went immediately to the negative thoughts. Will I be good enough? Am I too old, too short, to brunette…why do we do that to ourselves?
Anyway, I was intrigued. I had been to another local blogger event and really liked the information that was shared. This one had a day of classes, sponsors, vendors and brands. I thought, well why not. As they days went by and the event got closer, I found myself getting more and more excited (but those dang butterflies were still there).
Trying to figure out what I was going to wear was fun and challenging. I think this was the thing that scared me most. So, I chose outfits that made me feel confident and that I knew I would be comfortable in. I also chose to step outside my comfort zone for what I would wear to the brunch on Sunday.
Friday arrived, and it was rainy. I headed to The George Jones (rooftop bar and country music venue) for the opening cocktail party. Still a bit nervous, I saw a group of women at a table, walked up and started talking to them. Thank goodness they were lovely young women. The first person I met was muletownmakeover. Autumn and her husband are renovating their 150 year old farm house and she is blogging about that. I met several others that night including one of the teachers for the Pro Brand Pitching class I was taking. Everyone was smiley and happy to be there. Going up on the rooftop for photos and videos was fun. The views were amazing.
Saturday. Out the door bright and early. I had classes to attend.
Pro Brand Pitching
Pro Branding 202
Social Media Marketing
You Tube and Instagram
We arrived at a wonderful venue called Redpepper and were treated to a breakfast smoothie in a bowl by Rushbowls. Yum! They had vendors set-up so we could shop and meet them.
- Hello Well Co.
- Jad’Marie Cosmetics
- The NY Project
- Crafted by Heart
- Denor PR
- Clemmie Jewerly
- Litton Ave
- Juwon Enamel
- NASH Collection
- A Mint Macaron
The key-note speaker
Dr. Lauren Elise – The Social Media Doctor. What a breath of fresh air. She was funny, charismatic, and forthcoming. Like all great women, she shared what she knows! She told her story and it is a lesson we can all use. What I took from her was that she NEVER gave up! She found something she loved and did it. To share your passion and purpose, she shared the following:
- Communication – turning your thoughts into words and content
- Belief – know what your unchanging core values are
- Positivity – enthusiasm is contagious
- Activator – make things happen – set your mind to it and do it
- WOO (winning others over) – love the challenge of meeting new people
She also offered the following which should be every blogger and social media influencers mantra:
Every post must either entertain, inform, inspire or educate.
Rather than go into a whole lot of detail, I am going to share some of the takeaways that I wrote down from the classes and other recommendations that were made through out the event:
Set aside 1 hour per day to work on content. That include writing, photo taking, setting up posts, etc.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to brands. 60% of most brand deals come from reaching out.
If you want to represent brands, you should be sending 5 to 10 pitches per day. Start with an email about how you want to be of service to them.
Your Brand Success = Dynamic Visuals + Engaging Storytelling x Consistent and Persistent Action.
Show and tell your audience – be in the same space with the people you want to connect and engage with.
Find out what is most desirable and attractive to your audience.
Brand Message – Your why statement + the turning point (the moment that pushed you to take action) = your brand story. How do you share your brand story with the world?
Teach your audience to imagine what you are captioning.
Figure out from your analytics what is the best time for you to post.
Pick and choose what you want to share.
Always respond to comments within 48 hours
A good indicator of how your post is doing on Instagram is based on the response you receive within the first 10 minutes of posting.
Highly Recommended Apps
- Wordswag for quotes
- Google Photos
- Hype Appealing
- Strength Finders
- What Color is Your Parachute
- Make Yourself Marketable
- Blogging for Dummies
- Make Money Blogging
- Blogging on the Side
- Lifestyle Blogging Basics
- Influence Marketing
- The Essential Social Media Marketing Handbook
By the time Saturday was over, I was totally elated and exhausted. My plan was to come home, have some downtime and read over my notes. I never left the couch. (I have since reviewed my notes several times).
Sunday Brunch – The venue – Industrious Nashville in the Gulch
Boy was I nervous but I made it there and thoroughly enjoyed the yummy food, the vendors and drinks. This was about hanging out with fellow bloggers, taking photos and just relaxing a bit.
BloggerXchange is led by JustKayElle and LoveLeighLove. These two young women out did themselves. The enthusiasm, the sharing of information and the blend of all types of bloggers made for a great event. I learned so much that I am putting into practice each day. There was not one person that attended the event, or was part of the event that didn’t put their best foot forward. I am so blessed to have met several bloggers/influencers that I am now following and looking forward to getting to know.
The event surpassed my expectations tenfold. My hope for those who were a part of The BloogerXchange Expo 2018 is possible collaborations, friendships and growth for all.
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Thank you Kim, for sharing this!
I so agree and do most of what you shared. I am, however, just beginning to reach out to brands. I feel like I’m ready now!
I am not sure how I missed this. At the blogging event one of the teachers said that 60% of collaborations come from reaching out!
Wow! This was such an informative post! Thank you so much! I would love to go to a blogging conference, I never have been! And you shared so much of what you learned! Thank you!
It was fun. I encourage you to find one near you and attend!