Lessons from the Design Bloggers Conference. By Elle H-Millard, CKD
The Design Bloggers Conference in Beverly Hills this month drew hundreds of designers, entrepreneurs, journalists and others interested in unraveling the intricacies of what makes a blog a true business asset, as well as establishing an effective social media marketing plan. Here’s some advice from the experts.
- Be Serendipitous
Algorithms — those pieces of data that tell social media sites like Facebook an Instagram what you “like,” share, and click on for more information — help expose us to more of the great things we love. The caveat, however, is that they also tend to weed out the posts that don’t fit into our “like” patterns. That in turn creates a narrow, highly focused vision, eliminating exposure to different points of view, and options for staying open-minded and well-rounded.
According to Adam Japko, founder of Esteem Media and the Design Bloggers Conference, this is why influencer marketing is taking off. Just let things be serendipitous and allow the unexpected to happen.
- Build Collaborative Relationships
Build a network of professionals you can rely on, including photographers, trades, designers, trade associations, manufacturers, and publishers. Provide each other recommendations and leads.
Chances are, if you are kind and easy to work with, you will be sought out by other professionals, thus creating a strong team in your design community.
- Build Additional Income Streams
With technology at our fingertips, there are so many options for generating additional income streams. For instance, creating a blog provides opportunities to advertise manufacturers and brands, feature sponsored content, link to affiliate companies, provide advice columns, and create eDesign for clients.
- Stand Out
Find your unique story to stand out and capitalize on that as part of your branding efforts. Brands leveraging philanthropic initiatives are trusted, memorable and respected among all. Look at ways to connect your brand with something that gives back in a meaningful way.
At the Conference, we learned about Savvy Designs, a company creating magical spaces for ill children enduring major challenges at a young age, and Save Iconic Architecture, a group that protects and preserves iconic architecture in California.
You can also look to create your own unique story promoting your specialty — what really makes you special. Do you have a story to tell with color? Are you specialized in small spaces, childproofing, yacht design, historic homes? Identify what differentiates you and play up these strengths.
- Embrace the Evolution of Technology
Adapting to social strategies, algorithms and platforms is a way of the future — but remember, nothing is forever.
Be prepared for disruption — it is inevitable, and will continue to happen. We’re all in this together, ask for help!