What a time! I’m still trying to recover from last week’s trip to Salt Lake City to attend the fabulously amazing Altitude Summit, the biggest, baddest creative blogging conference in the country. So big that Martha Stewart was one of the keynotes last year, and so bad that I got to be a speaker this year! 🙂 Over 300 brilliant sewing, DIY, food, home, photography and fashion/style bloggers came from around the world to share, learn and most importantly to collaborate.
This wasn’t my first Alt rodeo! Several years ago I attended for the first time to assist BERNINA as a sponsor. This year, I was there to share tips and tricks on PR, launch my new book Beautifully Branded, connect with as many Sewpreneurs as I could, and share my experience on the BERNINA USA Instagram feed. Mission accomplished! Once of the highlights was meeting one of my favorite social media gurus Guy Kawasaki and hearing his tops tricks for successful Facebook and Twitter strategies. I’ve posted his tips on my blog Laugh.Liv.Love.
Here are my top 3 takeaways that I wanted to make sure to share with all of the Sewpreneurs out there:
1. Bucket Your Time & Let Go
It’s hard to do it all! You have to shop for supplies, make your products and actually run a business. Then throw in a husband and maybe some kids! Juggling so many roles can be exhausting. And I know from personal experience that often times the tasks that we don’t like or don’t have as much experience in get pushed to the back burner (accounting, taxes, marketing, PR). I made sure to attend a couple time management and self-management sessions to get my hectic life in order and increase productivity. The best piece of advice came from Whitney English of Day Designer and Sewpreneur Miranda Anderson of the blog One Little Minute. Whitney encourages people to block out their days by certain activities so you don’t neglect the yucky stuff and be more productive. For example, Mondays can be your business day to catch up on invoicing and blogging. Tuesdays can be the days you shop for fabric and organize supplies. Reward yourself towards the middle and end of the week by giving yourself plenty of time to do what you love…making! It’s also important to make some tough decisions about what’s important to you, prioritizing some of these tasks. Miranda says, “Balance is achieved when you decide which things you want, and willingly dispose of the rest.”
2. Every Profile is Your Professional Profile
I love social media and can’t stress how important it is to your creative business. While we tend to have personal profiles and then more professional “business” pages, social media expert Guy Kawasaki argues that all of your profiles are your professional ones. This is because everything that exists online about you will ultimately impact your business. Take a minute to Google yourself and your business name. What appears? Is if favorable and flattering? Does it represent you in the best light? His advice is to perfect your avatar or profile picture to reflect the most likable, trustworthy and confident you. This picture must be of your face (not your cat or kids) and people must be able to see your eyes and beautiful smile. He talked about how pictures are worth a 1,000 words, but video is worth a 1,000 pictures. So post more video. Lastly, perfect your pin-ability. Make sure you have pin-it buttons on your blog and on photos of your projects. Assigning the right photo and appealing descriptions to your blog posts are key to getting more traffic.
3. Collaboration is the New Competition
This is my favorite! I am a firm believer that if you are authentically yourself and can express that in what you do, you and your business have no competition. This is the essence of what my book is about. Cyndie Spiegel, business strategy coach for creative entrepreneurs, talked specifically about this and about how as women we need to resist the instinct of viewing each other as competition. In fact, if we collaborate with one another, we can lift each other up and achieve success together. There is strength in numbers and there is mutual benefit for all parties involved. Most importantly, when we collaborate with other creative minds, we have a partner to leverage our unique strengths and exchange ideas with…a soul sister of sorts. 🙂
Alt is known for its amazing swag and boy did we get the hook up! I have a “Sewpreneur Summit” gift set to give away to one awesome We All Sew fan. It includes a signed copy of my book that talks about how to brand yourself and your expertise, a Day Designer planner to help you manage your time and a beautiful notebook from Make My Notebook. All you have to do is post a comment below asking a business/marketing question that you have as a Sewpreneur. A winner will be chosen on June 23, 2015 and announced later this month!