The Motivated Millennial: 3 Things the Mom 2.0 Summit Taught Me About Building a Successful Brand

May 1 - Sheena Sharma
Entrepreneurship
 

Last week, my team here at On The Dot and I attended the Mom 2.0 Summit. The conference, created in 2008, took place in Austin this year and is “the premier professional conference and gathering of influencers who create content online and on air in parenting, entertainment, food, politics, business, marketing, technology, social change, travel and design. Basically, it was a super cool event where I got to meet a ton of badass women.

While I’m not a mom (though I definitely plan on being one one day), I still gained a ton of valuable insight into how to build a brand. And I know that many of my millennial peers, both moms and non-moms, are either working on their own personal brands, or those of the companies for which they work.

One of my favorite panels was called “Brand Building 2.0: Building a One-of-a-Kind Brand On Your Own Terms.” I figured I'd share some nifty takeaways I learned from the panel that I may one day use for my own business - and that you, too, could use in this ever-changing digital landscape if you want to have. a successful brand or become an influencer.

Get Crystal Clear on Your Message.

Let’s say you’re building a lifestyle brand. You may feel tempted to appeal to every single woman out there who’s ever bought a cute hat (which is, like, every woman on the planet?)

But if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one. Lifestyle influencer Camille Styles, who began building her brand in 2009 and now has hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, said:

“If you water down your message to please everyone, it’ll get lost.”

Basically, if you don’t know who exactly you’re talking to, no one will hear you. So pick a demographic and target them. In the influencer space, less (a tighter, but more engaged demographic versus a bigger, less engaged demographic) is more.

“If you water down your message to please everyone, it’ll get lost.”

You Don’t Need to Strategize on Every Social Media Platform.

In a meeting with my coworkers the other day, we were discussing Pinterest and its relevance to building your brand. One colleague said she’d spoken with a woman who managed to get a couple million views on her content by posting it on Pinterest. I couldn’t believe it! I thought Instagram, Twitter and Facebook were the only social platforms worth paying attention to these days. (Like, I don’t even remember the last time I pinned something on Pinterest).

If you’re an influencer building a brand, you only have so much time in any given day. That’s why it’s crucial to allocate your resources wisely – and that means not posting every single piece of content on every single social platform.

Do your research; does that article you just wrote really have to be optimized for Instagram and Facebook, or can you just get away with posting it on Facebook? Knowing what does well where will save you a lot of time - and time is money, my friends.

Let Empathy Drive Your Decisions.

What is empathy? It's the ability to understand and share the feelings of another÷.

Lauren Smith Ford, who is the senior content director for Dr. Brené Brown, said that Brené always challenges her team to ask themselves the following question: What’s the true intention behind what you’re posting?

The panelists pointed out that the word “authentic” is thrown around a lot the Internet these days; most audiences want authentic content, plain and simple. The jig is up, according to them: While perfectly curated Instagram feeds are aesthetically pleasing, to say the least, people want to feel like they can connect with brands and influencers in a genuine way.

So if you’re posting content for content’s sake, think again – your strategy most likely won’t get you the likes or follows you want. Instead, post with intention, and the engagement from your audience will follow.

In conclusion, you don't need everything to be perfect; work smarter, not harder. Oh, and if you're still unsure of what you want your brand to be? Take a look at the digital space and see what’s already working. Chances are, someone else is already implementing the same idea you have. Then, put your own personal spin on and make it better.

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