5 Key Insights from Successful Business Owners: My Takeaways from the 2019 BlogHer Creators Summit

In mid-September, I was lucky enough to attend the 2019 BlogHer Creators Summit in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Surrounded by powerful businesses like Vagisil, Constant Contact, and Dunkin’ Donuts, dominating celebrities and influencers like Sarah Jessica Parker, Lo Bosworth, and Danielle Bernstein, and badass women (and men!), just like you, in the digital creative space, the inspiration was overpowering and the insights shared were priceless.

I’d be crazy to keep all of the goodness to myself, so I decided to share some of the most important pieces of information I learned with all of you. 

Here are my takeaways from the conference:

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Cece Olisa, community builder/influencer/co-founder of The Curvy Con offered this profound advice on setting prices for your products and services. Her reasoning was simple: even if you only have one client a month, you will have a roof over your head. 

“I don’t want anyone famous but homeless sleeping on the ground,” she said. 

Touché.

Make sure your rent is paid for. Everything else you earn in the month thereafter can be used to live off of. 

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Jenna Shaffer, Marketing Manager at Constant Contact and Sonja Rasula, Founder of Unique Markets, gave an awesome presentation on Next Level Marketing and why email marketing is such an important aspect of your marketing strategy.

my biggest takeaways from their presentation:

  • Nobody reads emails but they DO interact. Keep your copy short, clear, and to the point. Always have a call to action and include multiple buttons for people to click on and interact with. 

  • Keep track of what people are clicking on. Pay attention to your analytics. If you get the most clicks on event promotion emails, create more event promotion emails. If a certain product page gets more clicks than others, use that product to upsell your other products. You with me?

  • Use emails to supercharge your social presence. Including links to your various social media accounts will allow your email list to find you on social media and interact with you/your brand on multiple platforms. 

  • Create a welcome series. If you are just getting started on your email marketing strategy or want to be more concise in your efforts — this is a good way to start.

  1. Thank them. Whether it’s your first email ever, or first email in a while, take the time to thank your subscribers for subscribing in the first place. Offer them insight on your business and a call to action on how they can read more about you and get to know your brand.

  2. Give them an opportunity. People LOVE free things. So, in your second email, offer them something. This can be in the form of a % off your services, access to an educational freebie you created, or an offer to take part in a giveaway you’re running. Creating a promotion will connect with your audience and make them more likely to continue to support your brand. 

  3. Invite them to connect on social media. Your third email should be dedicated to your social presence. Remind your subscribers of your handles and ask them to be sure to turn on post notifications so that they don’t miss any information. Be sure to link all buttons directly to your social accounts for easy click conversation.

If you don’t have an email list: start today. The easiest way to collect emails is to ask. Make this ask a constant part of your content on social media and be sure to add a subscribe button to your website homepage.

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Start now.

Sit down in front of a calendar (with a cup of coffee or glass of your favorite wine) and plan your content. 

Write down 5 things for each month that your audience would like to learn more about. That’s 60 topics per year that you can use to educate your audience. 

Think outside the box. Content creation can include, but is not limited to: blog posts, social posts/stories, YouTube videos, infographics, Pinterest Boards, freebies, etc. 

Planning out 60 topics will allow you to post new content frequently to keep your audience engaged and informed all year long.  

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Don’t let the algorithm rule your life.

Grab 10 or more of your favorite followers, add them all to a direct message, and use the group as a way to support each other through likes, comments, and shares. 

It’s a simple way to support creative efforts and doesn’t take up any more of your time than you would already be spending on social media. 

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Speakers Lisa Lillien of Hungry Girl, Jennifer Moss of Babynames.com and Michelle Madhok of SheFinds.com, led by moderator, Ashley Codianni of CNN, spoke about nipping Imposter Syndrome in the bud and moving fearlessly through the digital world.

some key pointers from their panel discussion.

  • Do what you know you can do well and give yourself kudos for it.

  • Always keep learning. It is impossible to know everything.

  • Pretend like you know what you are talking about until you actually know what you are talking about. 

  • Be as authentic as possible. Passion is everything. 

  • If you don’t know what to do, Do something. Just do it and sort the rest out later. 


 The Bottom Line:

  1. Set your rates so that if all else fails, one client a month keeps a roof over your head.

  2. Email marketing is not a dying trend. Start collecting emails and promoting your business through marketing campaigns.

  3. Plan out your yearly content so that you are not overwhelmed with it throughout the year. 

  4. Create a small support group for social media to increase your organic engagement and beat the algorithm.

  5. The imposter in your head isn’t real. Continue learning and remain as authentic as possible through the process. 


Let’s end on a quote from the queen herself:

“As women, we have to be so creative about how we break into the culture and present ourselves. Summon the courage you don’t think you have and the boldness you might not think you possess.” - Sarah Jessica Parker

Check out Sarah’s exclusive Sauvignon Blanc collaboration with Invivo Wine: Invivo X (a wine so good it got her to shy away from her usual go-to, Chardonnay.)

Click here for more information on the BlogHer Creators Summit and a full list of speakers and sponsors.