What I learned from the Alt Summit

Jan 28, 2014 | Sparkly Love

When I first heard about the Alt Summit three years ago I knew it was something I needed to go to. At the time I had never written a post, but I thought the idea of blogging was super cool and I had heard this was the best conference to attend. I also found out that tickets to Alt sold out in less than a day, so when they went on sale last August I was ready to pounce!

My brother Chandler also decided to come along, and the two of us flew out to Salt Lake City last week. I was a little nervous when I went to pack my suitcase because I had heard Alt attracts the most stylish fashion bloggers who put a lot of time and energy into what they wear. I decided that instead of worrying about buying a whole new wardrobe, I should just focus on learning and connecting with amazing people. Plus I have way too many clothes as it is!

The demographic for Alt is like nothing I’d ever experienced before. 95% women between the ages of 24-34 who are gorgeous and dressed fabulously. Needless to say Chandler was in heaven! Besides looking like they’d just walked out of a magazine, all the women I met we smart, kind and very inspiring. I think I gave out and collected half a box of business cards. It was really easy to network at Alt because there were amazing parties and elaborate sponsor decorated lounges that you could hangout in between speakers. The Grand America hotel where Alt takes place is one of the loveliest hotels I have ever been in, and that says a lot because I’ve used the bathroom at some very nice hotels around the world!

Some of my favourite speakers at Alt were Garance Dore, Alison Faulkner Robertson and Brit Morin. It was also amazing to hear the beautiful Christy Turlington speak about her new film project and learn how Ben Silbermann turned the idea for Pinterest into what it is today. Funny enough, Ben attended Alt 4 years ago before Pinterest was launched and showed everyone his concept on his laptop. Just goes to show that every big business starts with a small idea.

I’m still recovering from Alt and trying to process all the information that I learned. My former business coach, Marie Forleo once told me that the most important thing to do after a conference is to take some time off to just let everything sink in. Our brains are like sponges and when so much information is absorbed it can be an exhausting process. But, I really wanted to share my greatest takeaways with you while they were fresh!

Alt 2

The best goodies and nuggets of wisdom I learned at Alt are:

  • Write about what makes you the MOST excited. This will likely change along the way too, or it least it has for me. 
  • The more followers you get, the more negative comments will come. Be very strategic in how you handle them because they will suck up your time and creative energy. 
  • Don’t be scared of video! Start by recording yourself on your phone or computer and make sure to watch. I think watching myself on video is a horrible experience, but when I do I always learn so much.
  • Reach out to big companies that align with your personal brand. I learned at Alt there are tons of possibilities with sponsored posts and companies are hungry to connect with bloggers.
  • It IS possible to make money as a blogger but you have to be willing to put in the time and work (kinda like anything else). Blogging is a slow process and you have to be in it for the long haul. 
  • Connect with other bloggers because they are lovely people who want to help you. I learned that the community element is massive and the only way to really succeed. Bloggers tend to work from home in their PJs, so there is great importance in reaching out and figuring out ways to help one another. The power of cross promo, baby! 

During Alt I realized that there are so SO so many people doing DIY and crafty businesses. Many of them are finding it an uphill battle and are not sure how to make enough money at it. This inspired me to start thinking about my next Make It University course. The idea I have is to create a program that really helps with selling. It seems like so many artists and creative people have a really hard time with sales and I am confident I can help!

What I would love from you is to hear your struggles around selling and what is holding you back from success. You can share this in the comments below or just shoot me an email jenna@makeituniversity.com. This information will help me develop this best program possible!

Thank you so much for reading and if you liked this post please share it with your crafty friends 😉

Sparkly love,

Meet Jenna

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