Entrepreneur, Community

The Savvy Experience: 17 Bite-Sized Tidbits and Key Takeaways from Creative Entrepreneurs

As you may know, we recently attended The Savvy Experience in Scottsdale Arizona (led by the amazing Heather Crabtree). This conference was super special for us to attend because not only were we speaking, but this group (The Savvy Business Owners) is where the two of us first met! Think Creative Collective literally exists because of the Savvy Business Owners group, so we feel like we owe it our lives and happiness.

The entire trip was amazing and we could gush all day about all the beautiful details and how Heather truly didn't forget a thing. The entire experience left us rejuvenated about our business, excited about new friendships, and exhausted from all the brainpower that was going around. We began to get asked how we knew that this particular conference was the right one to invest in and what we could recommend for people just starting to attend conferences and retreats.

As you may know, we recently attended The Savvy Experience in Scottsdale Arizona (led by the amazing Heather Crabtree). This conference was super special for us to attend because not only were we speaking, but this group (The Savvy Business Owners) is where the two of us first met! Think Creative Collective literally exists because of the Savvy Business Owners group, so we feel like we owe it our lives and happiness.  The entire trip was amazing and we could gush all day about all the beautiful details and how Heather truly didn't forget a thing. The entire experience left us rejuvenated about our business, excited about new friendships, and exhausted from all the brainpower that was going around. We began to get asked how we knew that this particular conference was the right one to invest in and what we could recommend for people just starting to attend conferences and retreats. | Think Creative Collective

Photos by: Lunabear Studios

Since it’s such a grey area about what conferences would be best for you and your business we’d thought we’d highlight some of The Savvy Experience attendees and their key takeaways instead. This way you can see what folks actually learn and bring from events like this to see if your business is in need of something similar.

Below, in no particular order are some highlights from some of our new best friends and their takeaways from The Savvy Experience. Feel free to click through to see what they do!

 

Dannie Fountain, LE Consulting | www.leconsulting.org | IG: @leconsulting

I took away two major things from my time at Savvy (among countless other lessons, tips, tricks, ideas for new business projects, and friends). First was Monique's client experience style, learning to focus on the way the client perceives you and proving out your value regardless of the price you charge, instead of being focused on the transactional side of things. The most interesting thing was the post-purchase experience - how to engage with your clients to keep them in your loyalty loop whether it's to refer potential clients or to re-use you for a service one day.

The second thing I took away was Courtney's sales page method. Sales pages seem like these daunting and crazy things, but her tidbit about how most people decide whether or not to pull the trigger in the first 20% of the copy made me feel better. We still have to go through and make sure we're doing all the work to make the full sales page awesome, but if we're limited on time and resources, we can focus our energy on writing kickass copy for that top 20% since that's where the majority of sales will come from.

 

DeNeitra BurnettSavvy Events | www.savvy-events.com | IG: @savvyeventsllc

I learned so much from all of the speakers, but one of the speakers that most impacted me was Jessica Rasdall. I learned that regardless of your industry or your background your story matters. The "why" behind why you do business is important and should be shared. I believe it shapes the way we interact with others, the way we operate our business and ultimately the way we serve people. I learned that it is so vital to share your story and to be authentically who you are because you have no clue who you can impact.

 

Meghan MaydelMeghan Maydel | www.meghanmaydel.com | IG: @meghan_maydel

The biggest thing I learned was how little the tweaks can be to be able to grow massively. I think we all get so caught up in thinking there needs to be some big act or big launch to be able to skyrocket our business and what each of the speakers showed me was that it's just minor shifts in my biz to give me that leap I need to hit my next goal. Amber did a great job in her talk to really emphasize the need for test and tweak and using the numbers to back up what you want to implement next. Just in the past couple of days I've been able to look at my numbers, test & tweak and already grow from what I've been able to implement and change. It was a business changer!

 

Jessica StansberryJessica Stansberry | www.jessicastansberry.com | IG: @jessicastansberry

I learned so flippin' much y'all! The biggest thing I learned, I think, was that you can learn so much from everybody; people in your same industry, with the same audience, doing the same things, etc, they're all stocked full of information that can help you tremendously. Also, the value of meeting people IN PERSON is far greater than any other avenue and you can legit form real-life friendships and relationships SO QUICKLY (ok Bachelor, I get how you can fall in love and get engaged in a 3-month time period now all while dating 20 other women...ok!).

The conference lit a fire under my booty like nothing else ever has. #iwannadoallthethings

 

Amy HomanA Stylish Design | www.astylishdesign.com | IG: @A Stylish Design

The most important I took away from the savvy experience conference was that I'm not alone. No matter what business you create, service or product, no matter what age you are, how "seasoned" you are, there is so much to learn and networking is SO powerful. Everyone there just "clicked" and was so willing to give, absorb, share.. it was truly amazing!!

 

Ginny KraussGinny Krauss | www.GinnyKrauss.com | IG: @ginnykrauss

The biggest thing that I took away from the Savvy Experience was that I'm not just a small fish in a big sea, everything I am doing matters just as much as the next persons, and everyone there truly made everyone feel that they had value to provide. No matter how successful they were or how new in business, everyone was welcome and everyone equally shared among each other. No one was hiding their secrets to success. Jessica Rasdall's speech really hit home for me that everyone has a story and no matter how big or small your message may be, you should share it.

I also really loved Monique Melton's speech about putting the sweet in your client experience and making sure you are treating your client just as good, if not better throughout your relationship together, just as you did when you were trying to book them. This experience truly changed my life, each and every one of you left a lasting impact, both personally and professionally.

 

Stephanie Cope WilsonStephanie Cope Wilson | www.whimandproper.com | IG: @whimandproper

I took away so many great nuggets of information from every speaker, but I think the biggest takeaway for me was finding and embracing my “story.” It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time and I don’t think I could have ever figured it out on my own if I hadn’t stepped away from my desk / the grind for a week. This was a huge part of Jessica Rasdall's presentation, and admittedly, during the presentation, I kept thinking how NOT different or how uninteresting I was from everyone else — from all of the other designers out there, other business owners, etc. It wasn’t until talking to other attendees and making new friends did I realize what my story actually is. And it turned out to be the one thing that I was a little reserved in sharing about myself when meeting everyone at this particular conference because, to me, it felt like I was unfocused and I didn’t think anyone would care or find it interesting.

Long story short, at the beginning of the conference I was just introducing myself as a graphic designer because that’s how I’ve identified myself for so long, but toward the end of the conference, and from now on, I’m embracing opening up more about everything I do outside of graphic design. I have multiple streams of income — my graphic design business is one part of the many businesses I own and work on.

I help with my husband’s wealth management business, a client-turned-friend of mine and I are starting an event rental business locally and my husband and I invest in real estate (student rentals and house flipping, both of which I do interior design for). Eliana talked about related streams of income in her presentation, and in hindsight, I realize I really resonated with her presentation as well because I was doing something similar. I think I was a little embarrassed by my inability to sit still and focus on one thing, but now I see that’s what makes up my “story.”

 

Heather CrabtreeHeather Crabtree | www.heathercrabtree.com | IG: @heather_crabtree

I learned something from every speaker and every attendee. I also know that we are all going to RISE UP together and if someone starts to fall, the SAVVY community will be there to lift you up. The Savvy Experience energized me to keep building on the solid foundation that is already there. It also brought back that little girl inside of me that with her 70ish cousins every weekend (my Dad was one of 11 children) when we would get together on Sundays for Sunday lunch and have enough kids to fill more than 2 kickball teams, where no one entered the house or left the house without hugging and kissing each member of our family, where there were family struggles, but we got through them together...there was always that community. This is where community started for me and I thought it was just a way of life and everyone had this.

It also brought me to the moment of when my Dad died and he had over 5000 people at his funeral (even though we are from a very small town) and people came from all over and all different parts of his life. That is community...that was all I knew. I want everyone to feel a part of something greater, bigger than themselves...where you are seen and heard, where you have something to give and always something to learn.

 

Mallika MalhotraMikifoto by Mallika Malhotra | www.mikifoto.com | IG @mikifotonj

So many great takeaways, but Rachel Hofstetter's simple and powerful words, “GIVE GIVE GET”, rang deep and true. Not only for obtaining good press but as a movement for all women in business. GIVE your expertise, your story, yourself even if no one is buying. GIVE abundantly, personalize the experience, and treat your audience as friends. Be grateful for all you GET in return, especially the relationships and the community. Rinse and repeat!

 

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Monique MeltonMonique Melton | www.MoniqueMelton.com| IG: MoeMotivate

I came to the Savvy Experience with my heart set on connecting with real women in business who have a desire to make a difference in the world while building one another up...and that's exactly what happened x 10. I took away new friends and more energy to serve and support others. I loved seeing so many faces that were familiar from connecting online, but I also enjoyed meeting new faces too.

The Savvy Experience was like going to a highly-anticipated family reunion. We laughed, we learned, we cried, we chatted by the pool while dozing off mid sentence because your body hasn't adjusted to the 3-hour time difference, and we simply let our guards down so we could connect, be vulnerable, and be truly authentic.

I learned so much from the speakers and the attendees because I believe we are always learning and growing. I had some very specific takeaways that I'd like to mention.

I really liked Reina Arai Pomeroy's strategy about the to-do list and how we should further digest (or breakdown) anything that will take more than 30-60 minutes. This struck home for me because I love to-do lists and I'm really good at breaking things down, but I've noticed some things don't get done or get pushed back because they aren't broken down enough. That was very helpful to hear.

I loved Danielle Miller talk about Pinterest, and now she has me thinking about using it.

Cathy Olson got me to thinking bigger when it comes to things I could teach and that it doesn't have to be things exactly in my brand. So I immediately thought about makeup, because that was something I did for 10 years prior to doing my current business as brand strategist, mentor, author, and speaker, so thank you to Cathy for that.

Eliana Baucicault made some great points about expanding your service by thinking about the things your clients are asking you about. And I loved all the questions people asked her because it gave us a clearer look into her successful world as an event planner.

Annette Stepanian's presentation was fun and showed us how adding that spark and fun to our experience is just as important as the content itself. Mary Beth Storjohann, thank you for reminding us to really take a closer look at our finances and to start somewhere.

Heidi Yarger: thank you emphasizing the importance of SEO and because of you I'm adding some more pics to my site of not "just me".

Emylee Williams & Abagail Pumphrey were super fun and really have me convinced that I need to commit to building my blog and Instagram...okay, okay already!

Jessica Rasdall showed up and confirmed some really great things for me. I firmly believe in the truth that we all have a story and that we can heal and find purpose in our stories. This is the type of work I do with my clients and it was so confirming to hear her address this with such conviction. She created a safe place for us to share and that, my friends, is amazing.

Courtney Johnston I love the analogy of the rainbow and pot of gold...it really made the sales page simple and easy to understand. Alisha Johns did a great job explaining how to get strategic with social media and further convinced me to get strategic with Instagram.

Rachel Hofstetter gave us very clear and tangible direction for PR and I love that she made herself available to us for on-going support. The give, give, get was great and really resonates with how I approach my business and life.

Amber Housley thank you for reminding us of how important it is to have a goal and to measure our results...will never look at Google Analytics in the same way.

Kristin Kaplan reminded us of how important it is to have a strategy behind our pricing, which is something I really appreciate and enjoyed hearing.

And Katie Lawler Hunt, thank you for emphasizing the reality that we may hire a lot of people before we get the right one for us and that was very helpful to hear.

Okay one more thing, now that I've given you my second novel! I really appreciate that Heather Crabtree showed us that despite how challenging, difficult and discouraging things may get that we must never give up on our dreams. We may need to change things up, pivot or go in a different direction, but we must never give up. Thank you for showing us what it looks like to persevere and truly shine bright! And thank you my friend for being committed and intentional about building real community and embracing diversity. If you take a look at the Savvy Ambassadors, speakers, and attendees and you will see that they were all so diverse in more ways than one...that, my friends, is what real community is all about.

 

Abby HermanAbby Herman | www.abbyherman.com | IG: @write_solutions

I learned something from every speaker and the whole experience was very powerful for me. Some confirmed that, yes, I'm on the right path. Others sparked ideas that I'll dive into when the time is right. I love all the community I saw - there's no such thing as competition and we all have something unique to add to the mix. Katie Lawler Hunt's message to hire experts rather than generalists hit home (and seriously...who knew there was something called Task Rabbit?).

And Jessica Rasdall's talk about telling your story was so powerful. I have to-do items from Heidi Yarger's talk about website optimization and Amber Housley's sales funnel strategies were spot-on what I needed!

It's taken me the better part of a week to get back in the swing of things because my mind was just swimming with possibilities. The relationships fostered, the collaborations discussed, the friends made, the fun had...It was an amazing experience!

 

Courtney JohnsonThe Rule Breakers Club | www.rulebreakersclub.com | IG: @courtbourtinc

There is NOTHING like showing up to a live conference not knowing anyone personally and leaving 3 days later feeling like you have 64 new best friends. It's absolutely game changing and I can't recommend going to an event like this enough. If I had to choose, the #1 thing I learned was that there are so many SIMPLE social media strategies I can be doing to blow the roof off of my business that I just... haven't been doing (bad entrepreneur!). I'm ridiculously revved up and already implementing what I learned!

 

Lauren BlackLegacy Loft | www.legacyloft.com | IG: @legacyloft

The biggest impact from Savvy Experience is realizing that community is key! Whether that means collaborating on services to offer your clients more value, finding accountability partners, learning from one another, receiving encouragement during tough times, hiring others, or finding business partners – you cannot go about entrepreneurship on your own! There's so much value in bringing individual talent and experience together to make something stronger than could ever be accomplished alone.

 

Annette StepanianAnnette Stepanian | www.annettestepanian.com | IG: @annettestepanian

What I learned - or rather what it reminded me: Get up from behind the computer screen and go connect with people face-to-face. It'll be more impactful and leave more of an impression than any tweet, scope, post, email, or Insta Story. Having now attended the Savvy Experience - these women are now top of mind - and perhaps forever etched in the forefront of my brain.. You can be sure I'll be referring others to them.

 

Katie WilliamsenKatie Williamsen | www.kwilliamsen.com | IG: @katiewilliamsen

There were so many takeaways from The Savvy Experience, but one that really resonated is to let others help you. Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for a while, in order to move forward, you must let others help you along the way. For example, when you are just starting out, if writing your website copy is keeping you from launching, then hire a copywriter. As your business grows, if you don’t have time to think about social media strategy, hire a strategist to help you formulate a plan that will work for you. There’s nothing wrong with hiring other small business owners to help you fill in the gaps and move your business forward. It will leave you with more time to focus on what you truly love to do in your business!

 

Amelia Anne Wilson, The Editing Shop | www.theeditingshop.com

The best thing for me being at the Savvy Experience was being surrounded by so many like-minded women who truly understand how life and business intersect. I haven't found any communities in Europe that even come close to the supportive, creative, nurturing environment of the Savvy family, and being part of this experience has given me the boost I didn't even know I needed. I've taken away not just game-changing business advice (of which there was much!) but also a grounding confidence in that life and business ups and downs happen to even the most polished professionals, and actionable strategies for dealing with times that can't be "confetti moments"! Thanks, Jessica Rasdall. As business owners we put our best foot forward, and oftentimes no one sees the behind-the-scenes hard work. Being part of this experience allowed me to see others’ behind the scenes, and it was so inspiring and encouraging to see that wherever we are with our businesses we all share common goals and common struggles.

This experience was so much more than a conference - I left feeling like I'm part of a family and a community that's there to support each other through all the successes and struggles that come with entrepreneurship. As a one-woman shop, these kinds of friendships are absolutely priceless!

 

Danielle MillerMiller Media Management | www.mmmsocialmedia.com | IG: @mmmsocialmedia

My biggest takeaway was the importance of filling my cup. Spending time with supportive people who give graciously left me feeling energized and excited. During the presentations I also learned some valuable lessons. Rachel's "Give Give Get" will forever be my mantra when it come to PR (or just about anything!). Kristin's advice to "Solve bigger Problems" and Courtney's Rainbow Bridge are also top of mind.
 

Cathy OlsonLove Inspired | www.Love-Inspired.com | IG: @loveinspired

What an INCREDIBLE experience! The Savvy Experience allowed me to connect with others struggling with the SAME things I'm struggling with, and come up with the ideas to tackle them FOR GOOD. I realized I've been ignoring parts of my business out of fear. I feel confident in this next season for us and that we are going to totally CRUSH it in 2017!

 

Amber HousleyAmber Housley | | www.amberhousley.com | IG: @amberhousley

The experience most of all reminded me how in-person learning experiences are still very much needed. With many of us running businesses entirely online, it's easy to believe that the best learning investments are those that are quick, fast, affordable and easy to digest. However, that will only get you so far. Nothing online will replace the moments of delight, of light-bulb moments hearing speaker presentations first hand, or the new friendships and networking relationships that are formed in the time outside the conference sessions. When you are in person, and face to face, that's where the true magic happens.


So there you have it. Just a sampling of the amazingness that The Savvy Experience made happen for so many women and business owners. This is exactly why it’s so difficult to put into words what a conference can do for you, because everyone needs something a little bit different.

For us? We loved building physical, real-life relationships with so many ladies that we’ve met virtually. There’s something like hugging your “internet friend” for the first time when you already feel like you know each other so well. More so than any other moment in our business, The Savvy Experience made us feel like we belong, that we fit in somewhere and that it was okay to be us. It solidified that by creating that atmosphere in our own community was worth it and would pay off tremendously. Oh, and we also want to hire like 7 people that we met there, so there’s that!

Even if you weren’t able to be at The Savvy Experience with all of us, the Facebook group does a great job at creating that community online. You can join Heather’s group here and be sure to come hang out in ours as well by heading here. Welcome to the community!


Have you joined us on Instagram?


Collaboration, Blog, Community

We’re Now Accepting Guest Posts

Blogging is what started it all. It is the outlet that has allowed us to reach hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. It is what has catapulted us into a world built on community, and allowed us to build a brand that goes far beyond what either of us imagined.

As we have grown our business has gone through many transitions. We’ve started building our team. We’ve educated small business owners by the thousands. And this THING that we have built has become bigger than us.

Blogging is what started it all. It is the outlet that has allowed us to reach hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. It is what has catapulted us into a world built on community, and allowed us to build a brand that goes far beyond what either of us imagined.  As we have grown our business has gone through many transitions. We’ve started building our team. We’ve educated small business owners by the thousands. And this THING that we have built has become bigger than us. | Think Creative Collective

We always knew that fostering community and growing a tribe would be a part of this journey. We were just never really sure how it would manifest.

Well, ladies and gents. The time has come that we open the door to all of you in a new and exciting way!

We are now officially opening the doors to guest contributors and we invite you to apply to be a part of this process.

To participate we have made it super easy. Just hop on over to our Contact page. Scroll down and fill out the form to show your interest in guest blogging.

We will need a few contact details, a brief synopsis of your post, ideas for the catchy headline, main points you would like to cover and links to at least three (3) other blog posts you have written.

After you have submitted your brilliant idea a member of the team will be in touch. We CANNOT wait to see what you come up with.

 

We can’t wait to share your story!



Facebook, Entrepreneur, Community

Our Secret Creative Society

When I first started blogging, there was always the intention of growing a community of like minded individuals. After months of planning, growing, pushing myself and channeling my creativity, my dream finally came to life. 

The Think Creative Collective is my secret little society dedicated to helping creative entrepreneurs, small business owners and bloggers, just like you!!

And simultaneously through all this crazy change and movement forward I met my now Biz BFF, Emylee Williams. We instantly clicked. We understood each other. And we both shared very VERY (creepy) similar dreams. Emylee likes to refer to them as “Oprah sized”. I am much inclined to agree.

Our dreams seem to grow as we grow. And together we have already accomplished some pretty crazy things, like having 2 webinars together, creating affiliate marketing opportunities and quadrupling our email lists. I have no doubt we would have grown separately, but together we are a power house.

Emylee Williams and I are going to be working together to make this secret society and creative community even BETTER just for you!!

Some awesome things you have to look forward to:

  • CONSTANT OPPORTUNITIES for collaboration and celebration
  • DAILY PROMPTS to promote inspiration, aspirations and community involvement
  • WEEKLY INSIDER NEWS to challenge you to do and be your best everyday 
  • MONTHLY Q&As to answer all your biggest biz questions
  • MONTHLY FREE WEBINARS to teach you all our best secrets and strategies
  • 24/7 BACK STAGE ACCESS to a library of worksheets, checklists, e-books and webinar replays to keep you organized and consistently learning new things
  • PLUS You will always be the first to know about any exciting announcements, new opportunities and fun happenings behind the scenes

I hope you will join us in our ever-growing community. We can't wait to have you as part of our tribe! Sign Up Today


I LOVE TO HANG OUT ON INSTAGRAM!


Niche, Community, Blog

5 Challenges Every Blogger Faces

Before we even dig in you already have an idea of what challenges you face daily. Instead of going at it blind, prepare yourself with the tools necessary to take on these common issues head first. You will be so happy you did!

5 Challenges Every Blogger Faces  |  See what the problems are, but know how to face them dead on. These solutions are right under your nose.  |  Think Creative

1. Finding a Niche

Problem: Defining where to start is always a challenge, especially if you are new to blogging. A lot of your time is spent finding that topic that really calls to you. When I began I really only had a spark of an idea. Over time I have been able to refine what it is that I actually cover. Here are somethings you could find helpful.

Solution: If you are struggling to find a place to start. It is best to go all the way back to square one. In How to Start a Blog: My Journey, you can discover all the initial steps I took that got me to where I am right now. Perhaps you are further along in the process and really already have a topic in mind. Figure out how this topic is going to work for you and define some goals around it.

Remember: You must instantly communicate who you are and what you do as soon as someone lands on your blog. "People make snap judgements. It takes only 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person, and websites are no different. It takes about 50 milliseconds (that's 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they'll stay or leave. (source)"

2. Producing Quality Content

Problem: You have developed a niche that is all your own, written in your own style and voice. Perhaps you even planned ahead and developed a content schedule that covers different facets of your topic equally and systematically over time. However after several weeks or months of writing you find it difficult to cover new and exciting content.

Solution: In addition to having a well thought out content calendar, keep a journal of topic ideas. I write ideas down all the time. It might be inspired by something I heard someone chat about, something I read or maybe it is a stroke of brilliance that hit me in the shower. I will journal them in my notebook and then add them to my Blog Post Brainstorm Wunderlist. This list helps prevent the dreaded writer’s block, I can go back and revisit it as often as I want and find it a great tool to pull from when developing my calendar.

Remember: You must continue to stay inspired to develop awesome content. Follow your favorite bloggers on Bloglovin’, pin your favorite articles on Pinterest and screenshot those inspirational images on Instagram. Review often!

3. Battling the Noise

Problem: There are millions of bloggers in the U.S. and even more from around the world. How do you compete in this sea of noise? Not only are people bombarded with other blog content, but hundreds, if not thousands of chance exposures to advertisements and media everyday. Just twenty minutes in Times Square and you could be exposed to over 500 messages (source). How in the world are you supposed to stand out?           

Solution: You have to be yourself before you can be anyone else. Instead of trying to blend in, differentiate yourself and your content. On Friday I will cover in detail how to put more YOU in Your Business. Until then you might start with 5 Common Sense Ways to Live Your Brand.

Remember: You do what you do for a reason. It might help to reflect on why you turned down this path in the first place. I recently did this exercise and not only did it help me, but also my readers began to understand my motivation and purpose.

4. Connecting with Others

Problem: It is very easy to feel like we are on a lonely island in the middle of the deep blue sea, but I promise you are not alone. Creating connections in your niche and/or business are crucial to its survival. But creating these relationships on and offline can be a struggle.

Solution: So I have LOTs of ideas for how to connect, but I am sharing these awesome tips on one of my connection's blog later this week. Once it is live, don’t worry you will be the first to know!

Remember: In the mean time, you really ought to stop “networking” and start creating lasting relationships instead.

5. Monetizing Your Efforts

Problem: You put all this effort into creating content, getting it out there and for what. Well, hopefully, you are planning on getting some kind of return for all that effort. There are tons of articles out there to begin monetizing your site. Everything from adding google ads to your website or using some sort of affiliate marketing.

Solution: Before you go down the road of worrying about the cash money, you really need to focus on growing your readership. And you are only going to grow that if you offer quality content. And that quality is really only going to come if you put the time and effort into it. I personally have chosen (at least for now) to be a completely ad free zone. I find the advertising (especially banner ads) completely distracting and instead serve my readers with quality content. At the end of the day I am still a business, so I have chosen to focus my time and energy into offering quality customized services for businesses large and small, new and established.

Remember: If you are strategically trying to monetize your blog, making your readers aware of what you offer needs to be at the forefront. My services and pricing are not hidden, but rather a dominant part of my navigation. I also clearly explain to my readers what I do on my about page and in my blog sidebar.

What challenges are you facing as a blogger or business? How are you battling them?

Community, Twitter, Social Media

How to Use Twitter to Meet Real People, Create Real Connections and Grow Your Business

I was so late to this bandwagon I wasn’t even sure it still had wheels anymore. Sure I “started” a twitter way back in 2009, but this included months, if not years of dry spells.  I would even venture to say I didn’t really even understand the concept until mid-2014. Occasionally I would login, but a scrolling page of 140 characters just looked like a bunch of mush. Since then I really have taken a whole new approach. Along the way I may not have gained a ton of new “followers”, but I have meet lots of real people, created real connections and grown my business.

How to Use Twitter to Meet Real People, Create Real Connections and Grow Your Business  |  Think Creative

Meet Real People

Imagine sitting in an airport waiting to board an airplane to a city you have never been, with no one you know on the other end to greet you. Well that was me last October. I was waiting for a flight from MCI to LAX. I was heading to Los Angeles to attend Adobe MAX, i.e. the mecca of all creative conferences! I knew I would be traveling alone and I knew on the other end there would be many like-minded people, but I wasn’t totally sure how to connect with them.

In comes twitter. I send out a tweet in desperation, hoping for someone to answer back. I used what I thought would be the appropriate hashtag for the conference. And moments later to my complete surprise Rachel Blake answers!

Meet Real People Via Twitter  |  Think Creative

Sure this could have ended a completely different way, but as a result I met Rachel in the airport at LAX. We shared a shuttle to our respective Hotels. And I had a buddy for the whole rest of the week. We sat next to each other in conference sessions, explored the city together and even shared some delicious meals.

Twitter can seem like a scary place full of words, photos and videos, but it is really full of people just waiting to make a connection.

Create Real Connections

Sometimes it can feel like you are talking to the air as you send out a tweet, but if you participate in conversations the results can be amazing. Follow someone you think is “awesome” and when they tweet something you agree with, have a question about or an opinion, hit reply and say something. Often participating leads into more meaningful conversations on other platforms.

Recently I was involved in my first twitter chat. For those of you who have never participated, groups of people are all on twitter at the exact same time using the same hashtag. Generally there is a host leading the conversation and asking questions or at minimum moderating the activity. 

Several weeks ago I participated in #Ellechat. Not only was it a great opportunity to talk about a subject mater I was interested in (Freelance to Fulltime), but I was able to connect with other people in the same boat. Many of these tweets were followed up with email. One girl, another fellow blogger, ironically also named Rachel, I met during #Ellechat. She lives in Topeka, KS which is about an hour or so from where I am living. We were so close in fact that we decided we couldn’t miss the opportunity to connect so we are having coffee at the Roasterie this weekend!  

Grow Your Business

Though Twitter hasn’t directly lead to paying customers… yet, it has led to many new followers of my blog, other social media and even friends. This past weekend, I had a chance to listen to Laurie Davis, eFlirt Expert talk about how to Grow Your Business through Twitter. She has grown her twitter following to over 15,100 completely organically and with zero dollars in marketing. 

She recounted the early days of growing her business. She would spend hours “listening” in on people’s conversations about #dating. To spark interest she would reply back with dating advice. People were often taken off guard, but intrigued by the idea that she offered help. 

One awesome customer service idea she has included into her business model is allowing any questions via direct message. If she can answer it in 3 DMs or less, the advice is free. Laurie even mentioned occasions where people would ask for advice in the middle of a date. 

Which this brings up an excellent point… You must be timely. If someone messages you, tweets at you, comments, replies, etc. they are expecting a response ASAP. If social media is apart of your business model, monitoring it and responding also must be part of your model. 

Laurie Davis speaking at Go Blog Social 2015.

Laurie Davis speaking at Go Blog Social 2015.

Start daring yourself to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Create rawness and always stay real. Give to grow. Big hearts create big brands. Do this by having an original voice. If someone follows you, instead of a thank you, create a unique response.

Are you looking for more than just a following? Reach out to brands or even reporters via twitter. Many of Laurie’s last minute interviews came because of her activity on twitter. 

Feeling a little overwhelmed? Get out and just try it. Worst case there are crickets. Best case you meet real people, create real connections and grow your own business!