*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.*
“Take constructive feedback and help it grow your career. If it’s not constructive, forget it and move on.”
If you’ve read my NYC travel guide, then you’ll know that one of my suggestions is a little unconventional: attend a conference in the big apple! Top experts come from all over the globe to speak in NYC, and you can learn a lot in a single conference. I was honored to be asked to attend the HerConference, which is an inspiring development event geared towards women that focuses on topics such as marketing, entrepreneurship, media, and social impact. Read on to see what we learned at the event!
Jones New York at HerConference
The Jones New York activation was front and center at the conference, and with good reason. This line is specifically made for professional women, and filled with sophisticated, effortless looks with a modern twist. It’s the perfect aesthetic for driven, business-savvy women in the workplace.
I love being able to pull from the Jones New York collection for professional clothing that makes me feel confident and powerful while staying trendy and polished.
They even had a complimentary nail bar set up for conference attendees with power colors. I went with Future CEO Red for obvious reasons!
I’m always a fan of a good quote, and there were a ton of great ones at the HerConference.
The first keynote speakers were Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek, and Becca Tobin of Ladygang, which is a huge weekly podcast. They’ve overcome a lot and shared their stories and advice on making it as entrepreneurs in the business world. Here are some key takeaways from their talk:
- You can’t let rejection dilute your potential for success. One of the Ladygang crew tried out 4 times for the Rockettes before she made it. Ladygang was rejected from nearly every network before being picked up by the E! network. In their words, “you were wrong about me, I am a star!” which is hilarious, but also a good mindset to have.
- One Ladygang member said: Being from the south, where women’s worth can sometimes be based mainly on looks and who they marry, it’s important to realize that you have so much more to offer than your looks. Life is long, and you’re not going to be cute and 20 forever, so being driven and empowered is something that will carry you much further in life.
- You don’t have to be a hardcore feminist. You can empower each other but still like fashion and watch the bachelor if you want to.
- On setbacks: One Ladygang member says she gives herself 24 hours to be upset then jumps back in the game (I’ve heard Beyonce say something similar). Another member semi-jokingly said she gives herself more like 3 years to be upset, so to each their own!
- This too shall pass. It’s hard to remember those good feelings when you’re going through personal struggles like a breakup, but try to keep it in perspective and remember that it won’t last forever.
- Be tenacious. Looking back, one wished she was more confident and able to speak up for what she deserved earlier in life.
- When sending out pitches, until you get a no, keep asking! I’ve found this to be true when reaching out to hotels and other aspects of business. Some people get hundreds of emails a day, so if they haven’t specifically said no thank you, they might not have even seen your pitch yet. Don’t be afraid to follow up (in a polite way).
- Your 20’s are hard, your 30’s are better for women. This is still TBD but I could see it being true. You’re still figuring out a lot about who you are in your 20’s, and a lot is still heavily focused on your looks. In your 30’s you know what you want, and it’s more about your drive and going after your goals.
Samantha Barry was the keynote speaker on the second day of HerConference. She has an impressive resume as social media producer at both BBC and CNN, and now is Editor in Chief of Glamour magazine. Plus she has a very cool Irish accent! My favorite takeaways from her speech include:
- Take constructive feedback and help it grow your career. If it’s not constructive, forget it and move on.
- Viewpoint is key. Don’t do an article on Kim K.’s pink hair, but when Kylie Jenner tweets and it results in Snapchat’s stock going down, do a piece on other women on social media with clout and influence like hers.
- Go above and beyond. Our generation is so good about texting, direct messages, and emails. We can stand out by actually picking up the phone and getting an in-person coffee conversation.
- Do something others can’t. Samantha got an exclusive with Cynthia Nixon for Glamour when no one else did, which sets her and Glamour apart.
- If you’re interested in a career in digital marketing, it’s important to take the time to learn video. Our generation consumes way more video than any in the past, so make sure you at least know how to do basic video edits.
- Make it known on social media what you care about. If you say you have a passion for fashion, but all of your Instagram pictures are just you and your friends on the weekend, that won’t help you land a job. Make sure your social accounts speak to your brand.
The first breakout room we went to was all about how to turn your passion for social media into a job and included a rep from Betches. Advice included:
- Your experience and creating things are far more important than internships
- Be well-versed in all platforms, especially what’s trending now on Instagram, etc.
- Be funny, know the brand, know the content. Stories just need to be super relatable, so it’s important to bounce ideas off of as many people as possible.
- Your brand platforms should all sound like 1 person, so all employees need to completely understand the brand voice
- Know advantages of each platform
- Get feedback from others on your posts
We also saw a great panel on the monetization of influencer platforms, which included the CEO of Bloglovin’ and the CEO of Obviously. I was actually on Obviously’s first campaign ever – you may remember this one with Uniqlo where I even got a poster in the Newbury Street store! Key takeaways from this panel included:
- Micro influencers are on the rise. More budget with brands equates to more tiers of programs and influencer levels. A smaller audience is ok if their audience is really engaged in those topics.
- When pitching, show quality of comments with examples, screenshot metrics of posts, highlight past work (e.g. you took this brand and put this narrative around it). Make a target list (x3-4) and tag them – authentically tag them day-to-day. Show your stats, show what you can do for the brand, show what makes you stand out. Pitch entire story and narrative instead of just saying “hi work with me!”
- Aside from the usual content on influencer channels, you can collaborate to create content for the brand’s channels as well.
- Push longer-term influencing rather than one-off campaigns.
- Always counter-offer on rates & know your worth.
- Collaborate with other influencers who are at your level.
- Contracts: learn the lingo & make sure you know what you’re signing!
I even got to chat briefly with Mae Karwowski, CEO of Obviously.
There were a ton of other fun activations and photo opps at the conference, from Ulta Beauty Bar to a gif photobooth and even a cotton candy station from Bliss. I also won a pair of Hunter’s newest boot style which is under $100!
When life gives you lemons…
Laugh them away!
Whether you’re an influencer, entrepreneur, interested in digital marketing, or just want to go far in the business world, HerConference is the perfect place to get the latest tips and tricks from top experts in their fields. I can’t wait to put the advice we learned at the conference to good use!
Have you been to HerConference? What was it like?