i can’t believe my alt recaps are coming to a close! wait, yes i can. a 3-part series? you guys. i had to. i’m sorry! there was just too much goodness to cram into one post, or even two. but i know we are kind of all ready to move on with life and stop hearing about how corrine went to alt summit blah blah. but wait! really. you want to read this because in my opinion this is the BEST one. because all good writers know to save the best for last, right?! and since i spent $625 on my alt summit ticket to gain all this knowledge i figure, why not spread the love and give back to you guys by offering the best tidbits of advice that i got, FOR FREE! because i’m nice like that. and i sure appreciated the other bloggers who did that for ME last year so that i could really evaluate whether i wanted to save my pennies and go in 2014.
first thing’s first we (duh) have to talk about what i wore. my girls at brickyard buff gave me this little elephant necklace and it was quite the conversation piece! i mean, how can you not comment on that cute little goodness? i die over it every time i wear it. i’m THAT into it.
this outfit was probably my favorite of anything i wore at alt because a) it was comfy, b) i’m obsessed (yes OBSESSED) with this cardigan. so comfy. LOOOOOONG sleeves (i’m a sucker for ridiculously long sleeves) and c) it was WARM! the only outfit i didn’t completely freeze my butt of in when we photographed these! the boots, the cardi, that chambray top and even the stretchy skinnies. they’re all so completely practical, so comfy, so versatile. all incredible staple pieces that i give you my personal guarantee if you buy you won’t regret. i. PROMISE.
and you better have your fast fingers ready for the next round of those BB totes because you can fit your freakin’ kitchen sink in that sucker.
now for my “evening wear” … i feel like kind of a jerkface because it’s basically all unavailable now! SO SORRY you guys. i know that’s just rude. and the only thing that is for sure still available are the shoes that, yes are cute BUT i’m not gonna lie, they are about as comfortable as a parka in 95 degree weather. they’re what oprah calls 5 minute shoes. they’re cheap and you can tell. there are just some things you should invest your dollars in, and i’m a big believer that quality shoes are one of those things. alas, i cherry picked these out of my closet because they were cute and cute over practical won in this outfit. partly because i wanted to coordinate the metallic theme going on here and partly because, let’s be honest, i was out of money at this point!! and i couldn’t afford to buy new shoes for this getup too. but i walked around in bare feet for like 90% of that evening so, there you go. wear good shoes or do that. or be miserable. ha. am i selling you on these shoes?! 😉
my nails, in case anyone wonders, are just my shellac hack. so easy. lasts a week for sure. try it if you haven’t already! i SWEAR by it. no drilling shellac off because it’s not real shellac. but it mimics shellac. it just rocks. just take my word for it.
now for what i learned.
a couple tips before i delve into the actual lectures of alt summit. first of all, don’t go and just be with your friends who you already know the entire time. i actually went to alt summit with my mom who is an incredible food blogger at a bountiful kitchen (you guys she’s the REAL DEAL. her food is so legit!) but we didn’t hang out the entire time. in fact, we really only sat next to each other in a couple classes and the big lectures with everyone. otherwise, we looked at the schedule and if both of us were interested in two different classes, we divided and conquered. she and i both took notes and swapped stories after. and then we won some olympic medals together because we were so genius. okay just kidding, it was a photobooth. but wouldn’t we be the cutest olympians?!
come up with a game plan but don’t be married to the schedule. if something comes up that’s important, like a sponsor wants to talk to you or a class that you weren’t planning on originally is suddenly getting tons of buzz, be flexible. ask others who have been to alt before whose classes they would or wouldn’t recommend. a couple strong recommendations: first, if jasmine star is lecturing, and you haven’t heard her before, you must. she will light a fire under your bum so fast that you’ll want to jump out of your seat and shout “amen!” to everything she says. just trust me. my second? if you ever have a chance to hear susan petersen of freshly picked lecture on social media, you better be first in line to take her class. i’ve taken it 3 times and i learn something new every time. her class is a game changer.
image via justin hackworth
speaking of susan’s class, let’s jump right into that. she sat on a panel with jen hansard of simple green smoothies and salem stanley of vacation races and they gave a stellar presentation about growing your community on social media. i’m going to insert a little admission here – it’s kind of weird to talk to you guys about YOU GUYS. you know? but let’s go with it because this stuff is too good to keep to myself. they talked about determining the relationship – why are people following you? to be entertained? for a service? for advice? because they love your product? make sure you’re being mindful of that with the content you post. sidenote – i am ALWAYS thinking about this. every little square picture i post on instagram i double and triple think about, and try to make sure it serves my audience. it’s not for my friends, or my family, it’s for my readers. if i think you guys are NOT interested in it, you won’t either get great information from a deal (which is why most of you are here!) or it won’t make you laugh or smile or make you feel like we’re friends in real life, then it’s not going to get posted. making that personal connection is so important to me, and that was reiterated on this panel too. because nobody wants to follow someone who’s a hollow billboard. that’s not what we’re going for here. at the same time, nobody wants 12 pictures in a row of my baby, cute as she is!
giveaways – they addressed these. they need to have purpose and they need to be short. in other words, if you have a DIY blog, maybe don’t give away a set of makeup. if you have a fashion blog, maybe don’t give away a tuff shed. just consider your audience and what they want most. this is something i’ve always tried to stick with. if it’s not something i would shop for myself or want a deal on, it’s not going on the blog and it’s definitely not going to be a giveaway, either. even when i was brand new and paying for giveaways out of my piggy bank (as opposed to having sponsors help out with giving away items) i picked things i knew i’d be interested enough in to enter my own giveaway. if that makes sense.
and ohmygosh i learned ALL about how important a newsletter is! i mean duh, how was i missing this for so long?! a newsletter allows you to reach your audience even if their eyeballs are not on their phones/tablets/computers the moment you post on social media. HELLO! this is such a hugely important part of my blog. it’s always been such a struggle for me to get the information to my readers before something that’s a crazy amazingly good deal sells out, but i didn’t know how to do it effectively. facebook notifications were the only way i knew of until the newsletter came along. so if you’re reading this and you haven’t signed up yet, do it! on the very top of my blog. it’s easy and the best way for me to reach you when i post something juicy/amazing/awesome/crazy-good that you can’t live without.
that day was a whirlwind of information (again) and it ended with some absolutely incredible parties, too many good ones to give adequate mention to each, but my favorites were susan’s shark tank debut and the secret garden party thrown by some of my favorite ladies including one of my favorite bloggers of all time ever, alix from a ruffled life. you can see her recap of that ridiculously beautiful party here with my other fave, erin of candy kirby designs.
image via justin hackworth
image via candy kirby designs
i hope these roundups were helpful and that you learned something! i definitely did as i went back through my notes and reviewed everything. if you’re thirsty for more, read my recap part 1 of 3 and recap part 2 of 3.
if you’re thinking about going next year, i say DO IT! for me it was so 1 million percent worth the investment. yes, all sixhundredtwentyfive dollars. start your blog, write about your passion, find your audience, be consistent, and go with it.