Here are my biggest takeaways from this year's conference and why you should go.
Before we get started, Business Boutique was created by Christy Wright to help equip women to make money doing what they love. I have SO MANY thoughts, ideas, and information to share with you. Way too many for just one blog post, but I'm going to share with you the most impact parts and action items that I executed on!
People Will Buy Products And Services From Those They Understand And Relate To The Most
Story telling is crucial when you're building a business and your brand. We are in a culture where people expect to know why businesses are doing what they do and the people behind it. I wouldn't consider this as something where you necessarily need to share every minute of every day with your audience, but people do want to see the real deal! This could be customer testimonials or what the face/team of the company is up to (in business and life).
What Is important is to find the balance of what to share and how much of it. The awesome thing is that you can focus on the business or life memories to fit what you want your message to be. Maybe you show every day what kinds of projects you're working on and you sprinkle in photos of your dog (or vice versa)! Bottom line, incorporating parts of what real life is like is great to build a relationship with your tribe, which can then positively impact the growth of your business.
Launching A New Product Takes A Lot More Effort Than Expected
Emily Ley, creator of Simplified, gave such a great presentation on how to launch a product with minimal, expensive mistakes. She opened up on how her 12 step production checklist (from her Production master class, which she swears by through the many expensive mistakes she's made) has since helped her and so many other creators successfully create and release their products.
She also emphasized on the importance of having a calendar to lay out your plan from research and development to getting your product out the door. Aside from the production checklist, you've got to consider everything surrounding getting the product noticed. These could be from collecting pre-orders to building a social media campaign (or multiple). Although the production checklist is catered toward a tangible product, I plan on using as much of her lessons as possible to even plan content, like this blog!
Outsourcing Is A-Ok + It's Really Good For Your Business
I'm very comfortable with admitting that I'm not a designer. I'm ok when it comes to fashion (thanks to so many years in retail), but graphic design and even staging products is VERY challenging for me. I'm also not good when it comes to accounting, but I'm not going to let my weaknesses hurt my progress. When I'm ready to file for my taxes and need financial consulting, I'll go to my local CPA. When I create any of my "special content," I use Canva or reach out to my network of talented designers.
By outsourcing, you're able to use that time creating rather than what you would've spent doing something that you might dread (and probably suck at). Now I know that outsourcing comes with a budget. Believe me, I'm not able to outsource everything I hate/suck at doing yet. Rather what I am doing is starting small and am investing in what my business needs most right now and that's making sure Uncle Sam is taken care of with my trusted CPA. Start with the most important and impactful investment and work your way from there.
EVERYONE Started With "Just An Idea"
A lot of times we see businesses and their creators with a lens that makes it seem like they've had an overnight success. What we forget is that most companies started very small. Between well-known technologists starting in their garages to a stay-at-home mom gifting her craft to her friends and family. Everyone has the opportunity to build their talents AND make a living off of it if we truly believe in ourselves and there's a need in the market.
But Maria, there are SO MANY photographers. Anyone with a good cell phone or camera can get the job done.
While that's very true, they aren't me. They don't talk like me, care like I do, have the same life as I do, or even have the same goals as I do. I'm not saying that there isn't competition, but I do believe that there are people out there that I can serve my talents to. Maybe they're a one-time client or maybe they contract me as their official photographer. Either way, we all have that opportunity if we work hard and don't stop trying. Whether it takes a year, five years, or more to meet my definition of success, it's my drive and determination to make or break my dream.
My Action Items
Because this whole experience sparked so many ideas and dreams, I intentionally chose to just a few immediate action items for when I got back:
Update website - I met a woman whose husband tagged along to support her. She's a CPA and he's a web developer. After some time getting to know each other, he offered to give me feedback on my website! As someone who isn't gifted with design, he was able to give me a few simple pointers to simplify my website even more AND made sure I have the most impactful information across the entire platform. So grateful for what they did for me to help me out.
Launch vlog + blog post - I have had many video and blog topics that I want to share, but I want to make sure it's relevant and it's something that I currently feel very passionate about. This was the perfect opportunity to give me something to pour my brain into and I'm so eager to see how my experience can help you grow as well.
Build out my dream book - My husband initially gave me the idea to write down all of my thoughts and ideas (like anyone that's passionate about what they do, there are too many ideas to keep track of). I never thought it was a bad idea, rather when so many others are saying the same thing, it's likely a sign that it's something that I should be doing. As soon as I got back, hubs and I ran some errands and I picked up my book! By the time this post goes out, the video will have more detail on what I've built out thus far.
So why should you go to Business Boutique?
If you have an idea (or many) to build a business or have one already and want to grow, GO. This conference gave me so much comfort that I'm not alone and scared about starting my dream. Especially seeing that 99% of the vendors were Business Boutique successes (and a lot of them are only a year old)! You have the opportunity to learn impactful information and network with so many other women from all stages in their business.
Whether you watched the video or just finished reading this post, what is something you'd like for me to dive deeper into? Also, let me know if you have any questions about the event or my experience. I'm here to share the wealth!