I consider myself to be a fairly savvy business woman. I started a fitness business in my mind, trialed it by running classes in my garage and in the two years since I decided to franchise Hot Mama Health & Fitness, we have sold 25 Canadian Franchises. I have worked tirelessly and driven myself and my business beyond my own expectations and, honestly, beyond most sane boundaries. As an entrepreneur, well, that’s just my norm.
As I’ve grown Hot Mama over the years I have been repeatedly told that “I’m the brand”, that “I need to be the face of Hot Mama” and that I “could be a major influencer to the Hot Mama community”. In a world where I have been so focused on growing a franchise company, I spent little time analyzing what those words actually meant and to be honest, I really didn’t have the energy to do so, so I did not care to analyze or move on this idea at all.
Until…I was forced to.
Our social media consultant has been trying to drill it into my head the importance of being an influencer for the Hot Mamas in our community. With a solid foundation of over 10,000 Canadian Mamas it finally sunk in that I should be helping them find items, tools, products, services, etc. that would help them in their journey to being active, healthy role models.
This past week I have been participating in the Mom 2.016 Summit in Laguna Beach, California. This has been an event I will never forget simply for the fact that I had NO IDEA that writing or blogging was such a massive business. I thought bloggers blogged, writers wrote and sponsors sponsored. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever realize that writing was a business. No, that’s not right…writing…it’s an empire all in itself.
So, for the newbie writers/bloggers out there, here are the top five things I have learned in the past 2 days while surrounded by incredibly successful bloggers, writers, business women, or whatever you want to call them:
- Writing is a business. Treat it like one. Spend time, energy and money on your website and start generating content that you love to write and that you’re passionate about. Your website can be a serious source of revenue for you, so work at it, put the time in and only write about what lights you up. Otherwise you’re just writing to write and no one will read it.
- Writers don’t like to be called bloggers and bloggers are really writers. I know, I find it confusing too. However, I’ve found over that past few days that many bloggers don’t like to be called bloggers. They are writers. So, I think from now on I will call anyone who publishes online a writer…just so I don’t anger any of the bloggers…er…writers…er…yeah writers. I find this confusing, Also…don’t call them Mommy Bloggers…for the love of all things sacred and beautiful, do not call them Mommy Bloggers. They are writers. End of story.
- There is serious money in writing. You can make a lot of money writing sponsored posts and stories and articles, but you have to make sure that you remain authentic and true to who you are and who your readers are. That may seem pretty apparent, but again, over the past few days I’ve heard a lot of stories from writers who wrote for a cheque and didn’t get picked up again because engagement was low. The only way you can help sell a product is if you truly believe in it. Again, just my observations from two days of watching, listening and observing.
- Business can be cutthroat and writing is business, so prepare yourself. It doesn’t matter that the event I was at was 99.2% female, writing is a business and business is hard. Male or female, this writing business is a seriously competitive. Get a thick skin, support everyone as much as you can, be positive, but remember…this is business. The cool thing? You’ll find your tribe. You’ll find the writers who believe in you and who you want to support. So, as competitive as this business is, there are also people rooting for you, cheering you on and who are genuinely pleased when you do great things or land a big sponsor. I like that. There will also be haters, but I choose to focus on the fact that you can find a new and different tribe to belong to.
- Pitch, pitch, pitch. You may be new and you may have 200 followers on all of your social media platforms combined, but pitch yourself, your business and some of your amazing ideas. Talk. Pitch. Pitch. Talk. I’ve realized that most writers and brands understand that everyone starts somewhere and most everyone is willing to talk to you if you’re interesting enough. They may not pay you, but that’s okay (for now). Be smart. Be prepared. Know your product. Know your website. Know the brand you’re pitching to and just pitch. Become the expert in your field and start talking. Don’t be shy. Don’t worry about the numbers. Practice. No, you won’t land the big sponsors. But, you’ll practice. And when you’re not such a new writer (notice I didn’t say blogger?!), you’ll have practiced your pitch when you’ve felt most vulnerable and undeserving. So…pitch. Pitch the heck out of yourself.
There are so many more things I could write about and I probably will. But for now, as I sit alone in my hotel room and introvert the heck out of myself, those are the five biggest takeaways I have for this new empire I will build. I need to write. I need to believe. I need to grow. And finally, I need to pitch.
And hey you…new blogger/writer/whateveryouwnattocallyourself…you got this. Write, pitch, practice, repeat. Someday you and I will be on the main stage. Someday you and I will be educating. Mark my words. We got this.