Something I’ve learned since I started my blogging is what an amazing network it opens up. The midwest blogging community is welcoming, encouraging, and fun, so I was excited to attend Go Blog Social in Kansas City this past weekend to meet more talented midwest bloggers. As I was packing my bag I made sure to have a stack of business cards, mints, a fully charged camera, purple lipstick and a pen and notebook. As I started getting ready for the event that morning, I was a little nervous, I’m in a new city, I don’t know anyone here, and I’m about to spend 8 hours at this place. It is always intimidating to walk into a room full of people not knowing anyone. But the second I walked into Berg Event Space, all those nervous feelings were gone. It was such a great vibe, everyone wanted to meet each other, network, learn more about their blogs, and where they were from. I was quickly reminded of the welcoming midwest attitude that I experienced when I first started in Columbus. At the end of the day I had a handful of bloggers’ business cards, a notebook full of advice, a bag full of goodies, and some new Kansas City friends :).
The Berg Event Space was beautifully decorated with floral arrangements by Trapp and Company, photo shoot backdrop and tables of the featured speakers’ products. The ceiling had sky windows letting in a warm sun beam that created great lighting for photos (a must for a room full of bloggers). We spent the first hour socializing, learning the hows and whys others started blogging. There was a good mix of graphic designers, fashion, lifestyle, food, and mommy bloggers making it very interested to hear about others experiences.
Below you will find recaps of the speakers presentations, along with some of the key points that I took away.
Mandy Beyeler @sugarbeecrafts a DIY blogger, was the first speaker of the day, her presentation was “Building a Blogging Community” In the beginning of her presentation she talked about being authentic. Yes everyone wants to gain followers and likes, but at the end of the day you want those followers and likes to be authentic. Nothing feels better than a genuine comment or interest in your post. As you begin to build this community, you learn that working together as bloggers is better and more fun than competing with each other. Fun fact about Mandy, her family is in the process of building their house from the ground up! Check out her site to watch the progress they have already made!
Lily Jade is a designer diaper bag company that was started by a young couple who wanted a more versatile diaper bag. You could never tell from the photo above that these cute purses serve as diaper bags. This entrepreneurial couple created this product from the ground up and talked about why working with brands is beneficial. They gave great tips on how to reach out to brands and what that email should look like. I loved hearing about how this couple took a simple idea and created a company around it. They shared everything from the leather manufacturing to the partnerships they have with bloggers.
Enza’s Bargains presented “During and After the Campaign”. She had great insight to pitching to PR reps and the follow up on campaigns. Many make the mistake of after posting thinking that you are done, when really that is just the beginning. After posting a giveaway or photo promotion, start tracking your shares, likes, and views compiling a report to send back to the business. This allows them to see how effective the post was and if a future campaign would be beneficial. So don’t just stop at the post, make sure you follow up.
Blogger gone business owner, Callie created her own gluten-free, vegan snack brand, Rawxies. I enjoyed hearing about her experience as she started her own business and skyrocketed across the US. She found something that she was passionate about and wanted to share it with the rest of the world. Callie also talked about creating authentic relationships and being more personal. During the Q&A she emphasized the importance of doing more research before starting your own business. Don’t just focus on what you think the customer wants, but research what the buyer wants. She laughed and advised “Just start and you’ll figure things out”.
Stay tuned to find out more about the next Go Blog Social event…