Monday, May 6, 2013

SNAP! Recap - Lisa Leonard, Balancing Life, and Branding

Again, I am finally sitting down and typing out my notes from SNAP! and thought I'd share a little bit of the Giant-sized 'Ah-Ha' moment I had while in Utah. I will be including my notes, from the different classes I attended, in my posts for the next few days. As you may be able to tell by my notes, I'm a pretty detailed note-taker. If the information does not appeal to you, feel free to skip over the end of the post :) BUT, if you are interested in seeing what the conference and other bloggers' cute clothing looked like...then you might want to scroll through the pictures below.

My third bit of 'Ah-Ha' moment: I don't need to run faster than I have strength...I don't need to keep up with anyone else (other bloggers included) to be successful or happy. I don't need to beat myself up for not posting every day...I can find joy in creating, and if I happen to post something, that's great. I can share my creativity, along side my disappointments, and still be a perfectly imperfect person.

Although I had this thought, it doesn't mean I've been good about follow through...actually, I've been struggling with self worth the past couple of weeks (well, let's be honest...I've been struggling since my problems with ectopic  pregnancies began)-I know I am loved (by the Lord, my family and friends), but I do not feel that I am of any real value or importance to the people I love (besides making food, etc., but others could do that if I wasn't here). I realize this seems contradictory, but sometimes we can know something but feel someway else. It's something I am working on...slowly.

Anyway, onto the pictures:

My blouse has a major fly-away issue; the ruffles do not lay very flat. I've found that wearing the long strand of pearls helps keep the ruffles down, but I also needed to wear my name badge. What did I do? I combined the two pieces into this sassy getup. It definitely took me some finagling (and about 30 minutes of my life), but I think it was worth the effort :)

I ran into an 'old' friend-we lived near each other in Utah a couple of years ago. Nikkala (from The Crafting Chicks) and I have been friends for about 5 years now. Aren't we cute!

Center pieces for dinner (just before Queen Bee Market. Each table had a different word on top.

And my roommate won an Instagram competition during the Queen Bee Market. She won a bag of goodies gift cards and goodies...and 3 more exact bags for her roommates! Wha-hoo! (If you didn't already catch it, I came home with one of those bags).

Below is a summary from my notes in my second class. Feel free to hop over to the girl's sites (linked by each name). (If you do not blog/own a handmade business, my class notes may not appeal to you...feel free to skip the end of the post ;) if needed)

Keynote: Lisa Leonard (Lisa Leonard Designs Blog)
*3 things to remember: 1)willing to change 2)be unique 3)working with bloggers (networking)
*Be kind, warm, responsive to everyone-respond to any reaction with kindness
*make specific time-schedule and plan ahead
*Think vs. feel-find opportunities to grow and run with it
*Guilt doesn't play fair-guilt is very sneaky. Just remember: 'I am imperfect' and let it go! Own your imperfection, then guilt cannot control us so easily.
*As bloggers we usually leave out the conflict component in our story telling...when we are venerable, that's when we can make stronger connections with others. Put yourself out there-share difficulties  (along with creativity and successes) as well as joy.
*Create Joy: it's there to be found, make the decision to search it out. Be confident in everything-we can be happy in life, no matter what else is happening.
*Be positive: sometimes we focus so much on the last 20% of things not done, instead of celebrating the 80% that we've already accomplished.
* Search for inspiration outside of your niche...this can help save you from copying others and work can be more personal, organic and unique

Balancing Life
Becky (Organizing Made Fun) and Lisa (Pennington Point)

Be Specific-find own way
-with goals: know what they are
-with time: what can you invest/what time of day
-with purpose: who you are/what you believe (then everything else will fall into place)

Managing Your Blog {Day to Day}
1. Make a schedule: what and when to post
2. Do a Series: create themes (and let readers know)
3. Sponsored posts: be specific and up-front with the company (have info written out of what you charge and expect)
4. Check your goals: stay consistant, don't get too far off track
5. Behind the scenes: set work hours (responding to emails and dealing with sponsors)
6. Think carefully: be smart about your time

Time Management
1. Calendar
2.Time of Day: know your best time of day to work
3. Weekly writing: work ahead (schedule posts) or work real time
4. Set time limits: have control, stick to your planned schedule
5. Be realistic: how many posts a week and be consistent

1. Plan ahead: budget/timeline/plan/supplies
2. Set aside time: schedule out when to start/complete projects (be prepared)
3. Managing photos: pick what works for you. take time to take good pictures. edit photos all together
4. Use for multiple posts: use one project (like room re-do) and breakout the pictures/details for more posts. remember to use your calendar
5. Etsy shop: {Lisa} work for shop only on Saturday, makes a number of things ahead of time-customize later after purchased

Social Media
1. Schedule posts
2. Creating boundaries-we can focus on what your good at/with
3. Save ideas for later: write down awesome ideas, jokes, thoughts, funny things about yourself (save up to post at a later date-not post all together, could be spam-y)
4. Use your smartphone

Life @ Home
1. Children: (fun time suckers)-do not prefer blog over babies, utilize quiet time/naps
2. Home school
3. School/Activities: work/plan while out of house,  or at bedtime, etc.
4. Husbands: he should always know he is 1st over everything else-utilize his help, include him in your life!
5. Keeping a home: cleaning (split chores by day and use kids to help). plan meals (find ideas @5dinners1hour)

Be Flexible
1. When life happens: little things can interrupt schedules. have goal, but be flexible if something happens.
2. Build a group (of bloggers): create facebook group of 10-ish bloggers (girls got your back)
3. Stay positive
4. In a crisis: plan ahead (stuff happens: internet down, family emergency) pull from friends for help
5. When you don't feel like it: like a job, you can't not go if you don't feel like it. have e3xtra content for the 'bad days.'
6. Know yourself: what works for you. try things out and make changes if needed.

Know what you can and cannot do-know yourself and know your own pace. Hope and prayer are both good tools to keep moving forward.

Becki (Whippy Cake) Lisa (Moxie Pear) and Lara (Less Cake More Frosting)
@whippcake   @moxiepear   @lesscakemorefrosting

*Branding is the world's perception of who YOU are...
*Your brand is your experience and relationship with your audience
  • be relatable
  • connect emotionally (fashion can be really vane and emotional)
*Stay away from over-done themes (chevron, mustaches) when branding your blog/business
*Be specific in your target market
*If working with a designer, help the designer by painting a visual picture of your audience and what goal you are hoping to reach with your brand

When working with a designer
*be an informed consumer (ie. rasterized files vs. jpeg/pdf files)
*Blog headers are not logos

You should know who you are
*pinterest can help you figure out what you like (make a board of stuff you like: colors/styles/food/ads etc.)

Basic logos look better as a watermark (vs. really busy logos)
*best logos need to be good looking in black and white as well as color

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