I’m back at Ardene HQ after a whirlwind week in Bali, on the Pangea Dreams retreat. We spent our time creating content, attending workshops, practicing self-care, and exploring Bali.
I learned a lot, and want to share it with you guys!
Her first workshop was called Being Valuable vs Being Popular
Lee was working a 9 to 5 job that she didn’t like, and saving up money to take 1-2 trips a year. Those trips were the highlight of her year, and she would feature them on her blog as her creative outlet. She was struggling to maintain the blog since, due to her job & schedule, she could only get away for those brief weeks. This meant not enough content to keep her readers engaged with her blog.
What she noticed from her blog’s small but attentive audience, was that they loved reading the posts about her & where she was traveling more than anything other topics. This was eye-opening, and an affirmation of “I’m on the right path”. She realized that her current job wasn’t bringing her closer to her new goals, and she was inspired to plan her next steps.
As she became more dedicated to her blog & Instagram, collaboration opportunities started to roll in, and she learned some important lessons.
1.Don’t take every job. Ask yourself, is this aligned with my personal brand? Will I be honest about it? Will my followers trust what I have to say?
2.When you network – follow up! How many times have you had a great conversation with someone, and never seen or heard from them again? In any creative job, you need to keep your network of people! Who knows what job opportunities they know about, and want to share with you.
3.Do not have ads or sponsored posts back to back. Find a balance that works for you, or respect an 80 – 20 ratio. If your content becomes purely ads, your followers won’t enjoy your content anymore.
4.Be smart with your link in bio. The link in your bio is prime real estate. If there’s something you love, or believe in, or want to promote, and there’s a link for it – send people there! For Lee, this was sending her followers to the Subscribe page of her blog. Also, don’t be shy to change up your link – your goals will change and you’ll have to update accordingly.
5.Stand out. Standing out doesn’t mean being extra or in-your-face. It can be something as simple as being punctual and respecting deadlines. Better yet, delivering your projects early. A brand is sure to not forget that. Another way you can stand out is with your emails. Brand get tons of emails from people – how will your resonate with them? Make it personal, give it a purpose.
6.Share your reality, and share something practical. Instagram is a collection of the best of everyone’s life, but as you know – life isn’t like that. There’s the good, the bad, and the ugly – we choose to show only the good stuff on Insta. If you’re trying to connect with people, do it in an honest way. That will always resonate with them, and they’ll know if you’re faking it.
7.Quality over quantity. You can read all kinds of different tips from different “experts” online, but the truth is quality over quantity, always. You don’t have to post on IG or on your blog every day. Instead, if growing your Instagram is your goal, focus on quality content and captions that speak to your followers over your amount of posts.
It’s the quality of your work that will get you the jobs you want. When you’re trying to work with someone or a brand, offer what you have of value. For example, if you have an amazing Pinterest with a great following and many boards and a Youtube account with one great video, you should only speak to them about your Pinterest, since your YouTube is not really valuable.
Hearing Lee’s journey and her advice really helped me, and I hope it helps you with whatever you’re doing! If you have any questions, drop them in the comments ⤵️