We round up the key takeaways from this weekend's Simply Stylist conference in LA, where fashion and beauty influencers like Tyra Banks, Catt Sadler, Louise Roe, Teni Panosian, and Kaitlynn Carter discussed the ins and outs of social media and blogging.
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to become a successful blogger or how social media can benefit your business, then you need to check out Simply Stylist. The brainchild of Sarah Boyd—who connects digital influencers to brands, consults on digital strategy, and brings together speakers for monthly sessions—Simply Stylist hosted a day-long fashion and beauty conference this past Saturday at The Grove, welcoming digital influencers and aspiring bloggers alike. Moderated by E! News correspondent Catt Sadler, the event included expert panel discussions with the likes of Louise Roe and YouTube beauty sensation Teni Panosian, along with special guest speaker Tyra Banks, who recently launched her Tyra Beauty brand.
Here, we round up 11 pieces of sage advice from the event that will hopefully inspire the #bossbabe in you.
1. Use Your Passion to Change the World
The Giving Keys Founder Caitlin Crosby said, “My challenge to everyone who wants to start a ‘do-good’ company is don’t just do it because it’s trendy or because of the bottom line financially. Do it because you’re actually really passionate about an injustice that you see—whether it’s in the community or the world. First come up with something that you can do to really help that situation because you genuinely care about it.”
2. Figure out What It Is That You’re Good At
Western Wild creator Kaitlynn Carter said, “Journalism and writing have always been my passion. For other people it’s photography… and you can even use that to pick which platform is best for you.”
3. Find Your Aesthetic and Go with It
“The most important thing that we’ve found for success in a digital space is finding what your vision is and what your aesthetic is, and running with that,” said Something Social founder Calli Cholodenko.
4. Build Brand Recognition by Being Consistent
“You find your aesthetic, and you do it over and over again,” said Cholodenko.
The Mane Addicts recommended building a core team, since using the same photographer, for instance, will help produce consistent content.
Angel Food Style creator Sophie Elkus said that after being consistent for six months, in which she was posting at least two to three times a week, that’s when small brands started to reach out to her.
5. Don’t Get Bogged Down with Details
Being a perfectionist will slow you down, explained Elkus. Additionally, Cholodenko said don’t post for the sake of posting.
6. Maximize Exposure with Cross Promotion
“Build relationships with other people who want to develop their brand,” said Mane Addicts Editorial Director Justine Marjan.
7. Believe in What You’re Doing
“When you hear the ‘nos’ ignore them,” said Tyra Banks, who had pitched America’s Next Top Model to her acting agent at the time, and was told it was a dumb idea.
8. Be an Early Adopter
When there’s an up-and-coming social platform, Banks said, “Just sign up, and once a week drop something on it… just so you have the early adoption of it.”
9. Build a Loyal Following on Your Website
Instead of focusing solely on building a social media following, figure out how to drive people to your website first. “If people are consistently coming to your website, they will move with you to the next platform,” said Elkus.
10. Believe in Your Wildest Dreams
Twenty years ago when Catt Sadler was an aspiring journalist, she had a swimsuit photo of Tyra Banks on her refrigerator as her body inspiration. “Now look, here we are," said Sadler. "That’s kind of awesome.”
11. The Hardest Part Is Just Doing It
“If you have a blog, you’re a blogger,” said Boyd. “Really, that’s the beauty of this industry. Anyone can be a blogger. Yes, you might not have as much traction and traffic as Aimee Song, but you’ll get there. If your content is good, your writing is good, and your images are great, you will get there. It’s a saturated market, but I say not 'fake it ‘til you make it,’ but [rather] ‘say it, and do it.’ That’s the hardest part for so many people.”