*Group cover photo credit: Jason Seagle for Women in Travel Summit by Wanderful
This year I had the wonderful pleasure of attending the Women in Travel Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Women In Travel Summit (WITS) connects travel influencers and travel industry members. The summit is filled with events and sessions that provide influencers and bloggers with tools to increase digital presence and achieve business goals. The summit was brought to my attention from a contest announcement email from online community, Blogalicious ,who was also a 2017 WITS sponsor. Blogalicious is a digital community that elevates women multicultural social media influencers, creatives and entrepreneurs. Blogalicious also has an annual conference that connects social media influencers, leading brands and industry leaders. This year it is in Miami on October 5th-8th.
It is good to attend a conference related to your field and audience because it will help you learn how to best monetize your blog and content, connect and build friendships with other bloggers and get the word out about your blog, product or projects. As a blogger and social media influencer you can never learn enough. Technology and best practices constantly change. Here are 5 things I learned from the 2017 Women in Travel Summit (#Wits17):
Go Beyond the Numbers
As a blogger and influencer it is common to list of the amount of followers or amount of page views. It is easy to get caught up in the numbers game and race to have the most followers on social media. However, brands want to see engagement. If you are prepared to talk about the engagement of your different channels, you will stand out. It is important to post engaging content, rather it be an interesting question at the end of a blog post or a funny photo or meme that allows for discussion on social media. In addition, it is important to also engage with your followers and not using spam/auto comment bots. Here’s a meme that I created to discuss something that most people don’t realize about seeing the Northern lights in Iceland. It created a lot of comments around tips on when to go and people who ended up in the same boat as me.
It is important to connect with your audience but don’t lose yourself in trying to create an image that is not authentic. Conference speaker Morgan Field encouraged us to take a step back and “know your why” and intention to help create a more attractive brand. As a blogger and influencer we are pulled in many directions. Taking a step back to assess these things can be really helpful. Check out her book where she encourages women to create their own epic sexy life and create a magnetizing brand! I’ve ordered my copy!
This may seem like a given for some but I think it is easy to get stuck behind the brand or get lost in various daily tasks. This conference I learned that it’s ok to talk about what you’re good at. During a brunch discussion it was stated that if you ask a man what they are good at or what they do, they can go on for a while and confidently rattle off a brag sheet. As women, it is often hard to talk about ourselves, projects we are working on or our journey. Deidre Mathis of Wanderlust Houston showed us how to gain PR for your brand and yourself. She does an excellent job of gaining exposure. She will be the first Black hostel owner at the opening of Wanderlust Houston. Click to follow her journey.
Find and Connect With Accountability Partners
The morning and lunch sessions provided an intimate setting to connect. We participated in a few challenges of talking to everyone at our table about things we are passionate about and what we want from the conference. There was also a mirror where we could anonymously post a sticky note with our goals for the year. The sticky note exercise helped me to visualize and put positive affirmations into the atmosphere. Some of the goals were read out loud during the brunch. It is important to connect with other people in your field to bounce ideas off of, share best practices and encourage each other. This was my first all female conference and it was refreshing and inspiring to connect with women of different backgrounds and various niches within the travel industry.
Create Your Own Path To Entrepreneurship
There were many sessions around creating a brand and the tools you need to manage and promote your brand. Once you hone in on your skills and tap into your community of people that can help you, the possibilities are endless. The more you understand what you are good at and your why, it can help you create a strategy for monetizing your content. Going to a conference like WITS and connecting with like minded individuals is vital to taking your blog/podcast/vlog from a hobby to a brand that can open doors to many entrepreneurial opportunities versus blogging for free things.
Thank you to the Blogalicious team for making this summit trip possible and the Wanderful/Women in Travel Summit team for a great conference!
Check out the creative ways I was able to pay for most of my trip to Milwaukee with points using these travel hacks!
Next year’s WITS is in Quebec City!
What are some important things you have learned so far this year that will help you monetize your content and go from blogging to entrepreneurship? Comment below!
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