**LOOK FOR MY DISCOUNT CODE BELOW FOR FUTURE FLOCK PRESENTS EVENTS!!
Though Footprints in Pixie Dust has been around as a blog for a few years, it did not become a full-time project of love until March of 2018. In fact, in just a few short weeks, I’ll be celebrating my very first “full-time” anniversary. Yay, me!!! Of course, over the last year, I have experienced tremendous opportunities and learned more than I could ever have imagined. I’ve attended media trips, won awards, learned some valuable lessons and gleaned wisdom from some amazing men and women who have mastered their craft and have been willing to share. Most importantly, I myself realized how much I WANT to do this and how much of an impact our stories can potentially have on each other.
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FLOCK Presents Events
One of the events I attended that proved to have a tremendous impact on my “next step” was orchestrated by FLOCK and held right here in Central Florida. FLOCK events are small-scale conferences designed as intensive workshops to help focused, driven creatives take the next step in their businesses. The dream-child of Cam Bowman and Emelia Cellura, these well-organized events are held all around the country and cover various topics from travel and food to social media, developing brand partnerships and more!
I confess. I jumped at the chance to sign up for this particular intensive as soon as I heard it was coming. Once I caught a glimpse of the speaker line-up, I did not want this opportunity to pass me by. Besides, it was being held at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, which is literally a hop, skip and a jump for me. How could I not attend, right?
As January 15th approached, I grew more and more excited. I was going to see some of my Permission to Hustle retreat buddies and see some of my local friends, as well as meet, face to face, some people I’ve known for years, but have never had the chance to hug in person.
However, while networking and support are critical, I was there for more. I was there for a reason and I was determined to walk away having grown from this in some way, shape, form or fashion. So, what did I take away from this event? Was it really worth my time and money? Did it have enough of an impact to create a desire within to attend another FLOCK event?
What I learned from FLOCK Presents: Beyond the Likes, Retweets and Filters
Let’s start off with this. Cam and Emelia did a SPECTACULAR job seeking speakers. We were blessed to have six dynamic powerhouses (and an amazing representative from our host) bring their wisdom and expertise. The purpose of this particular event was to improve upon our social media presence, find out how to grow authentically and organically and what is it brands are truly seeking out in content creators. When I arrived, I found myself a spot right in the front and spent the entire day listening intently as I took notes, captured stills of the slides and made connections I never thought I had the guts to make.
Amiyrah Martin – 4 Hats and Frugal
Confession: I am very insecure when it comes to seeing myself on video. Before you go all “stop that” on me, just listen. I don’t like myself on camera and am very critical of my looks. (C’mon, I know I’m not alone!!) However, I am working desperately to overcome that fear. Why? I know I have a story to tell and it’s important for people to see the authentic expression and hear the genuine inflection I have when telling these stories.
Amiyrah is all about the video. She has knocked this one out of the park herself and is determined to bring us all out of our shells. I had the privilege of learning from Amiyrah during the Permission to Hustle Retreat aboard a Carnival Cruise in September. So, this was just an added bonus for me to hear her speak more at the FLOCK Presents conference on the topic of going “live.”
Amiyrah taught us things we should be doing RIGHT NOW and how to get ahead of the game. She encouraged us and pointed us all in the right direction. Furthermore, she talked about the benefits of collaborations and how to create a team. She also taught us to go “Wide and Deep” and to take that brave step to take our stories out into the world.
Carly Brydon Anderson – Lipgloss and Crayons
Prior to this event, I had never met Carly. However, I have been familiar with her work as we are in several Facebook groups together. Her specialty is Instagram and she took the time to pour out her wisdom so that we could grow exponentially on this platform ourselves. Carly shared her own purpose for using Instagram, as well as her personal goals. She also spoke to the importance of hashtag research and need for genuine engagement. She taught us the questions to ask when posting a photo and how to grow your audience.
One of the things I noticed that I needed to do based on Carly’s instruction was become more intentional in what I write. I needed to work on the placement of my call to action and be a little more captivating in my approach. Since then, I have seen some tremendous growth in my numbers and comments! I have truly begun to “find my people on Instagram.”
Patty Holliday and Tania Lamb – My No Guilt Life and Lola Lambchops
These are two women I have been hoping to meet for years!!! We have known “of” each other and I’ve had a few “messenger” conversations with Patty. The connection these two besties have is so inspiring and heartwarming and speaks so much to #friendshipgoals!! They are creative and hilarious and it is always a treat to see them when they work together (note ~ they are amazing individually, as well, but together – they are like a super force).
Patty and Tania spoke about how to make ordinary content extraordinary. They shared their personal stories with success, as well as the insecurities they face on their own. They shared “Do’s and Don’ts” about talking to brands and how to conduct yourself before, during and after a project.
However, the two most important things I took away from this dynamic duo were to “become a part of the conversation” and to “send the email.” Be bold. Be present. Be intentional (which is actually my goal for the year). Time to put my big girl pants on!!!!
Jill Williams Krause – Baby Rabies and Happy Loud Life
Oh, my goodness! I have to say that, while I learned from every single one of the people on the panel, if I were to select one who impacted me the most, I would have to say it was THIS woman.
Jill is currently on an RV expedition with her family, traveling anywhere and everywhere in order to experience life. They share their stories on various platforms and have truly invested in this lifestyle they have chosen.
During her time at the “podium,” Jill discussed what meaningful growth looks like and how to experience it. While there are those who do experience that magical moment and immediate success, the more common adventure is more of the “slow and steady wins the race” kind.
We heard more about authentic engagement and how to invest in our followers AND our story. Jill shared tips on how to create an attractive media kit and how to know when it’s time to expand your brand.
However, THE two most important things she taught me that I need to remind myself daily stem from these two phrases:
“You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”
“Perfection is the enemy of progress.”
Ummm….bear with me for a moment. (Breathe, T, breathe)
If you don’t know me, I am a confessed perfectionist by both nature and nurture. I was taught that every single thing I did had to be perfect or it wasn’t worth doing. Because of that, it has become second nature for me to literally second, third, always guess everything I do and to try to do everything I possibly can in order to make sure I didn’t miss an opportunity to succeed at something.
I’ve obviously grown over the years and am less of a basket-case in this respect, but it’s such an encouragement to hear “perfect” phrases like this, which simply remind me that it’s all good…I’m doing okay.
Brandi Riley – Mama Knows It All
Brandi is a woman to be admired for so many reasons. She shared her story and her climb to success with us and I was impacted just by the words she spoke. She is articulate and dynamic and knows how to get things done.
At FLOCK Presents, she spoke about leveling up, something for which she has both done and shares in her Courage to Earn group(s). She encouraged us to begin creating our own opportunities and finding ways to gain exposure. She provided us with avenues to consider and the benefits of networking.
However, what I took away from Brandi was not a phrase or a piece of advice. It was more of a sense. Her words instilled within me a desire to do something more, to pursue something else that my heart has craved throughout my lifetime. Something my insecurities (as noted above) have suppressed and almost rendered dead.
I want to write. I want to speak. Most of all, however, I want to have a positive impact.
So, I have been working on plans for a book, building a platform on which I can speak and cherishing those moments when someone says a post I wrote or photo I shared sparked something positive within them.
We can’t forget our sweet Disney rep, Lisa!!!!
Our host for this particular FLOCK presents event was none other than the Disney Parks Moms Panel. That means we had the opportunity to hear some of the insider Walt Disney World scoop delivered by none other than Lisa, a Cast Member and Influencer Communications Manager.
Lisa shared a multitude of events occurring throughout 2019 here in Florida, as well as in California, on the Disney Cruise Line and on Adventures by Disney. She even shared news regarding the Disney Vacation Club, which always piques my interest as we have been members since 2013!!
We learned about The Mickey and Minnie Surprise Celebration going on right now at Magic Kingdom, as well as the brand new Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be welcoming Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy on March 31st and we will be saying “farewell” to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot.
The Disney Vacation Club has a new resort opening later this year, Disney’s Riviera Resort, and reservations are now open for Guests to book accommodations starting in December of this year. We also learned a little more about the new ships coming to the Disney Cruise Line over the next few years.
There is a ton of excitement going on in the world of Disney and we were so excited to hear all about it directly from a Cast Member involved in the process!!
So, what’s next?
Well, needless to say, I came home pumped, excited and extremely motivated. In fact, I was so inspired that I signed up for TWO more FLOCK Presents conferences happening in 2019.
In just a few short weeks, I will be headed to Nashville, Tennessee, for The Places You’ll Go conference. Each and every day that brings me closer to this event, my level of excitement grows (sound familiar?). There will be another set of amazing speakers sharing on topics that fascinate me!!! This will be the perfect opportunity to expand my knowledge on travel blogging, photography, working my biography and more.
In October, I’ll return to Walt Disney World to focus on learning how to drive traffic to my blog. I am all about authentic growth and I’ve been watching my numbers grow organically over the year. I am nowhere near where I want to be or could be. However, I hope to learn some techniques and methods that will help me to expand my influence in a positive and authentic manner.
Interested in attending a FLOCK Presents event?
Trust me ~ I have only shared an iota of what I learned from the one event I attended. These are well-organized, well-staffed and methodically designed events that are intended to help us grow in our businesses. You don’t have to be a travel blogger to attend Nashville or a food blogger to attend Phoenix. You just have to have the desire to want to learn and grow.
If you are curious about FLOCK, feel free to check their site at flockpresents.com. They have a list of their events, as well as so much more.
Should you choose to register for an event, use my code TINABROWN to receive a $25 discount on any of the events on the 2019 schedule.
If you would like to attend the FLOCK Presents conference in Orlando, Florida (being held at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort October 10th, 2019), you can use this direct affiliate link to register: http://bit.ly/FPIPDFLOCK !!! Again, be sure to use my discount code, TINABROWN, for $25 off the cost of your ticket!
Speakers at the October event include:
Melissa Culbertson, Leslie Harvey, Kuleen Lashley, Audrey McClelland, and Vera Sweeney
Whether or not I meet you in Nashville or Orlando, I hope you consider adding a FLOCK event to your calendar. I honestly cannot wait until I arrive in Tennessee!! Cam and Emelia have so much planned and the speakers are no doubt going to be amazing! Until then, I am going to continue to level up, speak out, take that photo and send that email. What about you?
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