Last weekend I participated in Create & Cultivate NYC – a day long creative conference for women in the digital world. Of the course of the day I sat in panels, shopped the curated marketplace, and connected with so many other amazing women. Click through to read my full recap of the day and what I loved and what I wish was done different.
There were two track focuses that you could chose from if you had a VIP ticket – one with a focus on social media and content creation with a second track focused on entrepreneurship and business owners. I picked Track One as blogging was my main focus.
First I fueled up with a yummy Noosa yogurt and Jamba Juice while I shopped the Pop Up Market. I loved this part because I was able to stop in and talk with some of the brands I had worked with in the past and put a face to a name on an e-mail chain. Some of my favorites were Gorjana, Minted, Framebridge, and Tictail Market.
My second favorite part of the day was being able to connect with other women in the same space – wether it was another mom that I have admired and follower like Jacqui or another blogger that we have both followed each other for years and who I felt like I’ve known forever like Miko. I also met a ton of other girls standing in line waiting for food or shopping the market. Everyone was ready to connect and share information – it was so friendly.
My other highlights from the panels:
- Chatting with Helena from Brooklyn Blonde about engagement, creating strong content, and photo tips during her breakout group. She is seriously the sweetest!
- Style Me Savvy Panel – I loved hearing that brands are more interested in working with bloggers who create the type of content their looking for, not necessarily just having a big following. It just reaffirmed to me when I get repeat inquiries from brands that I’ve previously worked with that my content is valuable regardless of big numbers.
- Commerce through Content – Monetize your blog. Make it work for you. Affiliate links are easy passive income and informative to your readers. Also, growth hack whenever possible. Always try to migrate your following to your other channels. Give specific actions to draw your readers to your other networks and develop content specifically for your other channels. Lastly, find your niche. Like super small, specific detailed niche. You can’t ever be too specific. Develop trust then build out from there.
- Caption This – Some of my highlights for this panel were Carly Heitlinger, Naomi Davis, and Eva Amurri Martino. They offered practical advice about partnering with brands beyond the obvious, “make it authentic”. Eva and Carly were especially candid and upfront about making sure its a partnership that benefits both parties and the importance of having a contract and a lawyer. I also thought another great takeaway was to make sponsored content feel “advertorial” – offer up something else (advice or tips) alongside the advertisement.
- Talking “Beyond the Binary” – I wasn’t sure what I was walking in to when we first sat down but this was the most exciting and engaging panel for me. Especially in this political climate I think its so important to try and find a way to use my privilege when working in this space and with brands and invite others who may not have a voice to the table.
- The New Guard – This panel was interesting for a few reasons, the main one being an honest and tension filled discussion about sustainability in the fashion world and how we should all be using our platform to educate others. It felt a little like watching a TV show but I love when people just cut through the crap and get real. I also loved hearing from Wendy’s Lookbook. I talked to her afterwards about tips for creating video content and she told me to take an acting class! She said it would help with timing and voice projection and feeling comfortable in front of an audience. Note taken!
My takeaway is – if you have the money and the opportunity to go, I say go! At the end of the day, if all I left with was feeling good about the path I was already on, that’s all I needed. The bonus of meeting new people. networking potential, the swag bag, and the few tips you’re sure to learn are the icing on top.
I know I walked away feeling more confident, energized, and excited about the content I create, the connections I’ve made on this journey, and what the future holds for me and Lucky Penny.
If you have any other questions about Create & Cultivate, leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them!