This past weekend I had the honor of attending the Creative at Heart Conference hosted in Charleston, South Carolina. What an incredible two days jam packed with inspiring, intelligent, creative, entrepreneurial women (and a few guys!) with teaching on topics across the board. It was so amazing to see photographers, bloggers, florists, calligraphers, event planners, and more all come together in the spirit of community. My notebook is bursting at the seams with ideas, challenges, and so much that I want to make better in my business for the new year to come. And all while being incredibly encouraged at the same time, I would have to say that is my favorite way to leave a conference!
The team who hosts the Creative at Heart Conference are the most genuine of hearts. I met Kat of Dear Sweetheart Events at Making Things Happen almost two years ago now, and let’s just say she is now definitely making things happen!
I’m still processing and deeply thinking about the content that was shared from each talk, but I wanted to share with you today my top takeaways, and the people you should definitely be following and connecting with if you are a creative entrepreneur!
• Bonnie Bakhtiari of B is for Bonnie presented on building an authentic brand. I have been following her on Instagram for quite some time as her feed is so beautifully curated and always uplifting. “Your brand is a mission, a set of values. A promise of work done well, a promise of excellence…do not simply define your brand based on what others are doing.”
• Amy & Jordan Demos gave a wonderful talk on social media connection, and the importance of putting who you really are out there for clients to see. They also gave great insight on networking with vendors through various social media platforms.
• Michael Aslop of Katelyn James Photography presented on being a financially fit business. “Avoid debt in your business at all costs, and treat your savings like a bill that must be paid every month.”
• Krista Jones, photographer and founder of The Rising Tide Society, presented on mastering Google and how to use Google plus to benefit our website SEO. Her blog posts HERE and HERE are so valuable if you aren’t sure where to start with Google and getting your website to show up in online searches.
• Ashlee Proffitt presented on winning the heart of your client every single time. She provided attendees with an incredibly valuable list of client & brand touch points as a resource to make every step a brand experience. She reminded us that clients are not transactions, but people.
• Molly Stillman of Still Being Molly, presented on the profit of blogging. “The key to profiting with your blog is to be consistent, committed, and authentic….Social media could go away tomorrow. Be more in control of what you are building.”
• Annamarie Atkins, founder of the soon to launch The Creative Catalog, shared on taking yourself out of the box of what others have said you can and cannot do in your life. Of redefining the negative things that have been spoken over you and believing that you really can be successful too.
• Mary Marantz of Justin & Mary presented on making your worth work more, and how a purpose and why behind their work is what changed their pricing. “That one booking is not the win. It’s after she books you and her five friends follow suit because she couldn’t stop raving about the experience with you..that’s the win.”
• Kat Schmoyer of Dear Sweetheart Events, hostess of the conference, gave a powerfully reflective presentation that forced us to look at our failings of the past year and fears of the years to come. And a truthful reminder that we are the only ones who can change the course. “Why are you here?”
• Natalie Franke, photographer & founder of The Rising Tide Society, blew us out of the water with her presentation on how the senses can help build your brand using her educational background neuroscience. From how we react when we hear our name, to how a profile image is seen. It was fascinating.
• Shay Cochrane presented on defining your niche and how to differentiate yourself in a saturated market. (Clearly my love language!) “Defining your niche will almost entirely take away the struggle of competition.”
• Katelyn James closed the conference with her powerful insight on building community and the value of showing up for people. My notebook was bursting at this point with such valuable takeaways to apply in my own business. Beyond her blog, she educates on this topic and others in different FREE podcasts & webinars HERE, HERE, and HERE!