Thursday, September 25, 2014

5 BRANDING/BLOGGER LESSONS LEARNED FROM THIS WEEK'S #CAPFABBACADEMY AT @CITYCENTERDC

Being a social buttafly ain't easy. From the outside looking in, it can appear all glitz and glamour, you're never bored and you always have places to be and people to see but the reality for most of us who are Bloggers or those of us who work within the social media landscape, it's work. Don't get me wrong, I ain't complaining. And the effort is that much more worth it when you walk away with great take-a-ways such as I did upon having attended this week's CapFabb event.
CapFabb is an organization made up fashion and beauty Bloggers in the capital Washington, DC metropolitan area. Events bring together area Bloggers to connect and
collaborate in an effort to expand one's brand and network. Although I had a list of umpteen events on the same eve which is the norm, I decided to attend CapFabb's #CapFabbAcademy "Making It A Business" Blogger event. Interestingly enough, I dished with a fellow Blogger also in attendance regarding how the decision was made to attend the CapFabb event. And this may help you when trying to juggle and manage your calendar. I had to assess current goals and what event would most benefit where I'm going right now in terms of building my brand, Bag Ladies. And while I was nonetheless interested in other events (if I could've cloned myself I would've), I felt I stood to gain the most from the CapFabb event and low and behold I was right on. Trust, if I could be everywhere at once, I would be but it's just not realistic. The event was not only a great networking opportunity but also a great opportunity to put faces with the names of some that I had long since connected with via social media like Cortnie Elizabeth of whom I'm pictured with above. 


The event was set against the backdrop that is City Center DC, which is an urban experience comprised of offices, shops, restaurants and apartments right plop in the middle of downtown Washington, DC. It's like the cutest little nook tucked away. Although far from little I should say, it's 10 acres.
The elevator was gorgeous and the scenes changed above
Ok, swoon. Spring 2015 seems so far away.
The event featured 5 panelists, Katherine Martinez, Ana Buitrago, Carlis Sanchez, Katya Ananieva, Cortnie Elizabeth and moderated by Lacey Faeh all of whom dropped dimes on how they've made their mark in Blogging and branding. 

What I loved most was the candor and transparency. I've been doing this for awhile but there's always sumpin to be learned. None of the panelists tried to paint a rosy picture. They spoke about losses, failures as well as success and gains. But the most consistent theme was that it takes work and it will be hard but the pay-off is worth it. 

My Take-a-ways:
1. Your Blog is a brand - This was more reaffirming. Some spend so much effort trying to achieve a certain level of success that they forget their Blog is a brand in and of itself and it should be valued as such.
2. Research the needs of a brand and pitch how you can fill that need - I am so of the mindset of not waiting on a brand to come to me. Many will watch from afar instead of spending that time watching and waiting to instead look at a brand and find gaps in their marketing and determine what you can offer and pitch how you can fill that gap. 

3. Bloggers need personal days/mental health days too - So much of our time is spent engaging be it online or at events, it can be exhausting and as one of the panelists remarked, when you are exhausted you are ineffective and no good to anyone. So don't be afraid to disconnect for a day, step off of social media and just do you.

4. Start Local - So many want the recognition that comes with pursuing big, national brands, you forget about the small business and organizations right in your area that have the same needs and who may be more willing to work with you as you are on the "come up." They may be less the budget of the big brands but more amenable. Don't be afraid to start small and work your way up.

5. Know Your Numbers - The worst thing you can do when pursuing working with brands is to go to them without having all your ducks in a row and particularly if you don't know your numbers such as page views, demographic of your audience, etc. Be sure your media kit includes that info. as well as what you've done regardless how small. Show them your capabilities and be confident in the value of your brand and what you have to offer.
Me and fellow Blogger, Whitney James

Next visit to City Center DC, my JustFab.com wedges are coming off and I'm dipping my toes.
Which one of these take-a-ways you think most applies to you? And do you have any gems of your own?

I literally put some of what I took away into immediate action. Visit CapFabb.com for more  on the organization as well as upcoming events. 

--
Follow me on IG/Twitter and Vine @bagladies.
--
 

New season lineup soon to come to the online airwaves of Bag Ladies Radio. In the meantime, OnDemand/iTunes are 24/7. Check out my fave show picks and access recent shows and the full archive at bagladiesradio.com/listen. Follow on Twitter and Instagram