In 2016 Gigi and I attended Create and Cultivate, a beautifully curated, motivational, inspiring conference geared toward female bloggers and women in the tech space. The conference was curated to the tiniest of details and was like walking through the most instagram worthy upon instagram worthy sets. The best and most rewarding draw of the conference was the amazing panels of speakers.
The panels were informative and inspiring. They were designed around a certain topic like, "The art of the pitch", "Photo Hacks", "Brand Vibes", etc. The speakers talked about their journeys to where they are now, their plans for the future and the ups and downs along the way. The moderators guided the conversation with excellent questions that provided more insight into the topics AND they opened the floor to questions from the audience at the end.
The day is jam packed with speakers and activities. One of the highlights is meeting in a small group with a "mentor" where you get to interact with these brilliant beings on a more intimate level and ask them anything! I got to meet with Maxie McCoy of Levo and it was full of great tips for maximizing your time and potential. Some memorable quotes and tips:
"Follow creative ideas into action"- Maxie McCoy
Calendar blocking-an amazing tip introduced to me and obsessed over by me from one of my first business partners and reinforced by hugely successful people (Like Maxie McCoy ).
"Show up as the fullest expression of yourself"- Maxie McCoy
"How to inspire creativity in a team? Participate"
They had mostly healthy and fun food options throughout the day including Sakara goodies and suja juices. There were workshops, vendors for shopping and for glam so you could touch up your nails or hair in between panels on the house. It was a great way to discover new brands and new products from big names. They really thought of everything with multiple photo booths, vendors that effortlessly matched with the aesthetic of the conference plus panelists and speakers who brought a lot of valuable content to the table.
I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential before she was going up to speak on the panel for "Brand Vibes: How to create a brand that lives beyond the blog bubble" because I mean duh, she is so passionate (and so talented) about branding. If you haven't you NEED to check out her blog because it is beautifully branded to a T and such a fun community of women she has created through her unique voice and cult worthy content. AND she is exactly her genuine personality that she expresses through her blog and social channels: micro-managing the bartender for a skinny cocktail before going up to speak, being a super approachable and down to earth San Diego babe and her witty, sense of humor shining through during the time I chatted with her.
At the time we attended Create and Cultivate Dallas we had our idea for Intrepid Hearts, but the actual website was still sprouting into reality. We were both blown away by the women EMPOWERING women vibes that were strong at the conference. Meeting other bloggers and brands attending the conference there were no catty, comparative or competitive energies going around. Quite the opposite, everyone was excited to learn about your approach to the blogging world and very encouraging for us young guns just getting into the game. This was refreshing and exciting especially since we were just starting out in an industry that feels saturated to the max.
If YOU are thinking of starting a blog in 2017 stop thinking and start doing. Despite the seemingly saturated blogger market there is room for YOU and YOUR individual voice, let your unique personality shine through, create original content, use your blog as a creative outlet for your interests, cultivate goals for the future. If you can speak on any subject that you are passionate about better than anyone else you know, share your knowledge! Gary Vaynerchuk always says "if you are not creating and sharing content whether it's writing, speaking on podcasts/other mediums or creating videos YOU DO NOT EXIST" a bit harsh, but in this media crazy world we live in don't just be the one scrolling through instagram comparing your lives to others, join the party! Manifest your destiny, release what is true to you into the universe and THROW YOUR HEART AND SOUL INTO IT!
I will leave you with notes I jotted down from Gary Vaynerchuk's book, "CRUSH IT: Why now is the time to cash in on your passion" that I read and immediately passed on to friends because of how motivating and inspiring it was on how to start a blog, here are his steps from my cliff notes:
- Identify your passion
- Think of 50+ awesome topics to blog about
- Ask yourself: "Am I sure my passion is what I think?"
- Ask Yourself: "Can I Talk about it better than anyone else?"
- Name your brand
- Buy your usernames
- Hire a designer
- Include links on how to connect with you, call to action buttons, share buttons
- Create a fan page
- Create a community, leave comments on other blogs and forums
- Use twitter to search about your topics and interact
- Blog search and google search relevant blogs
- Join Facebook fan pages and groups that are similar to your topics and ENGAGE
- Repeat steps 10-13
I recommend reading or listening to Gary V's books/podcasts. Kind of a different brand and feel than Create and Cultivate, but still an amazing insight on business and he always gives the straight up, to the point, no-nonsense dose of reality that we all need whether we want it or not.
We hope to see you this weekend in NYC! Gigi will be posting a full recap from our NYC adventures next week. xx
This is when you know it's time to start something.