Wednesday, August 28, 2019

What I Learned At TBScon 2019

Photography by: Hannah Lozano 

Yesterday, I shared a recap on TBScon. You can check it out right here. I learned so many things that I wanted to dedicate a separate post so I could share them with you. So let's get to it!

I'll share the blogger tidbits below, but in more general terms I learned the following:

Invest in Yourself

It's important to take the time to invest in yourself. I admit this is something I need to be better about. I didn't realize how much I needed this trip away until I was there. After a very stressful summer dealing with Lily's tumor, this trip allowed me to focus on healing my heart and my mind. It was so helpful to take the time to focus in one of my passions, blogging. Because I have a day job and because I am also a busy mom of four, it is incredible difficult to blog regularly. But it is such a great outlet for me and it's something I truly enjoy. So when this trip got closer I got more excited. When you take the time to slow down and focus on your self-care, you become a better everything. 

Jump Out of Your Comfort Zone

Another thing I struggle with is jumping out of my comfort zone. It's natural to gravitate toward what you are most comfortable with, but I made the choice to get out there this weekend and try to introduce myself or have a conversation with someone new. Not only with the people element. I jumped out of my comfort zone attending the conference at all last year. I was scared that I was not "big enough" of a blogger to attend a blog conference. But not once did I find myself feeling like I did not belong. There were no cliques or competition. Everyone was there to learn something and all the people I met could not have been nicer. 

Throw The Timeline Out the Window

I have been blogging since 2009 and I am still not where I want to be with it. I have had a dream to open up a business and that doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon either. I find myself putting so much pressure on myself because of what I see happening around me. That is not entirely fair. Everyone's timeline is different. Everyone is in a different spot in their lives. I learned at the conference that I need to stay patient and put in the work. My parents have always taught me that if you work hard it will pay off. I am learning I need to embrace this season of my life and that there is no timeline of when things need to happen. 

So, those are the three biggest lessons I learned from TBSCon, but I also learned some pretty cool tips to evolve my blog and my brand. 

You Do Not Need To Have A Big Following To Have Influence

I got this tidbit from Erica's class on pitching to brands. It is true that it is easier to work with brands if you have the numbers to show, but there are other ways to show you have value to give to brands too. With your daily engagements, be sure to capture all the times you influenced someone to either copy your look or buy something you posted about. I created an "influence" folder on my computer so I could save the screenshots. This is something you could potentially use to share with  brands or if you're feeling super low about the impact you're making. It makes my heart so happy when people shoot me a DM to tell me they bought something the saw me post or that a story I shared inspired them. Remember what you have to offer is valuable. Find a way to show that influence and more brands will want to work with you. 

Don't Forget About Instagram Stories

I have been feeling like I have not been growing on Instagram like I want. But you cannot complain and then do the bare minimum and expect real change. I don't want to be a cheater and use bots to buy followers/likes or go the loop giveaway route to increase my follower count. I want to attract followers that genuinely enjoy what I have to share and want to connect. I learned from Manu of Your Social Team that I am under utilizing the power of Instagram Stories. A way to beat the nasty algorithm is to share more stories. IG Stories are featured at the TOP of the home feed. Just add another element to your story and boom, you're bumped to the front of the line. Instagram Stories gives followers a chance to get to know you better. Plus, Instagram places a lovely colored circle around your profile that travels with you when you post or comment on a post. This clues followers in that you have shared a new story. 

Treat Your Bio Like A Mini Media Kit

Another great tidbit I learned from Manu is giving your profile page a face lift. When you want to work with brands and they visit your profile, you want to leave the best impression beyond photos in your feed. I immediately added updating my bio on my to-do list. Your bio should tell anyone what they can expect from you. Also, Manu suggested we create an ABOUT ME highlight. This is a great way for any new followers to get to know you better and brands are able to see what you're all about and make a better decision on whether to work with you or not. Genius, why I haven't I thought about that? You can check out my new bio and ABOUT ME highlight by visiting my IG page @glitterandjuls.

Know Your Followers 

I realized that if I want to grow, I needed to do a better job getting to know my followers. Again, another tip from Your Social Team is to use features like IG Stories and IG Live to give people more access to you. Also, responding to comments and questions is critical with improvement engagement. Lastly, no one wants to just see purely curated stuff. In fact, I went through the accounts I am following and removed ones that I could not relate any more or were purely curated content. I hope this will help bring accounts I do engage with and love following back into my feed. Followers like authenticity and I am all about that!

Be in the Know About FTC Guidelines 

Brittany of Lawyer Lookbook gave a great presentation to catch us up on FTC Guidelines. It was a nice reminder to ensure we are all disclosing working relationships with brands properly. FTC, for those not aware, stands for Federal Trade Commission. Their goal is to protect the consumer and ensure all influencers are proper disclose working relationships when they post content. If influencers have an agreement with a brand to post a product/service, that relationship needs to be made clear so consumers are aware. So when you see #Ad or #spoonsored, we are not bragging about the fact we got something for free or are getting paid to post, its to ensure the consumers can understand there is a partnership in place. I will mention that if and when you do see my posts with #ad or #sponsored or even #gifted... when I post about these products or services it means I genuinely enjoy the product and use it.

These were just a few of the things I learned from attending this year's TBScon. There is always something you can takeaway and I appreciate all the help and support I can get. I cannot wait to find out where TBScon will be next year. If it is anywhere close to Savannah again I will for sure be grabbing my ticket!

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