Create & Cultivate landed in San Francisco in late September with its signature one-day conference full of curated panels, mentor sessions, and networking opportunities. RhythmInfluence by RhythmOne was there to get the inside scoop on how to be a “bad-ass boss babe,” taking in tips from dozens of successful female entrepreneurs and businesswomen.
The online platform dedicated to inspiring and empowering women in their careers pulled out all the stops, including pop-up shops, a beauty lounge, swag galore, and even a Kardashian.
All that glamour couldn’t outshine the content-driven panels,though. These were broken up into two conference tracks — one on entrepreneurship, career advancement, and brand growth and the other on content creation, social media, and marketing.
Hearing speakers like ClassPass’s Payal Kadakia, Pinterest’s Colleen Stauffer, and Tamara Mellon’s Jill Layfield provided us with plenty of valuable takeaways on building a brand. Here’s what we learned.
1. Authenticity is key.
In such an over-saturated marketing landscape, an authentic voice will set you apart from the pack. Even social media influencers, once curated and filtered to perfection, are now shifting toward more real-life looks and featuring what goes on behind the scenes.
To truly connect with your brand’s target audience, forgo perfection in favor of reality. Put the messy parts of your process on display on social media, and share the before, during, and after of it all.
2. Engage with video (& listen).
Speaking of authenticity, video is a great way to showcase your true personality and engage with your audience in an authentic way. And, when your viewers feel connected, they’ll tell you exactly what they need from your brand.
Then, it’s time to listen up! Your audience is a powerful tool to help guide your content and your brand. Ask for direct feedback on whatever it is you’re producing, and pivot your strategy from there.
3. Collaboration beats competition.
Your biggest competitor isn’t holding you back; it’s your greatest asset! Did you know that Volvo gave away its secret to the three-point seatbelt, then a revolutionary step in car safety? Thanks to this move toward collaboration with the competition, the industry was forever changed for the better.
It just goes to show that entire industries progress when brands collaborate. Seek out competitors with a like-minded view, and find creative ways to work together, share ideas, and cross promote one another.
4. Find your niche.
When building your brand, look for a hole in the market that you can fill. Be super specific in your messaging, and know exactly who your audience is. Your power is in being you, not in imitating someone else’s success.
At the same time, you should be willing to evolve with the market. Being an early adopter of new social platforms, for instance, is essential to online success. Nevertheless, it’s always smart to maintain your website as the one area of the internet that you can control and keep as authentically you.
5. Say ‘No’
If the answer isn’t “hell yes!”, then it’s a no. Being busy simply for the sake of being busy will get you nowhere, so learn how to prioritize tasks to maximize your time.
As a busy brand builder, self care is critical, and your mental, emotional, and physical health will always make you better at what you do. You don’t need to capitalize on every opportunity that comes your way, so learn how to pick, choose, and say no when you need to.
Create & Cultivate provided plenty of fodder for RhythmInfluence by RhythmOne as we begin thinking of new ways to create events for brands. Based on what we saw in both the panels and at booths, the experience will be one that carefully balances a beautiful (dare we say instagrammable?) backdrop with a whole lot of authenticity. We look forward to creating these unique moments that call for sharing and that allow you to truly engage with your audience.