What I Learned at Blissdom 2019

Blissdom 2019 was a fun mix of connecting, learning and remembering why I do what I do. I'm sharing the best parts here!I’m so excited to be at the Blissdom Conference this weekend and I’ll be live blogging all my best takeaways.  Check back often to see all the good stuff.

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Thursday Blissdom Roundtables

5 Steps for Getting Media Attention For Your Book

Mary O’Donohue – Media Coach for Authors

A media interview is a marketing asset that someone else pays for. Be prepared so you can repurpose your content for your audience.

An expert is someone who is just a step ahead of someone else. People don’t need to hear from the person on the top of the mountain.  They need to hear from someone who can tell them what’s next.

Your message was meant for someone specifically and the broader you go, the less likely you are to find them.

Be prepared to tell your origin story, especially if you have a pivot point.

Know that you are on an equal plane with the person you are pitching to.  You are offering something valuable to fill a need for them and their audience.

How to Build Diversified Income Streams Within Your Business and Blog

Emily Ho – Authentically Social, LLC

Go deep into breaking down your analytics to learn about your audience and their habits.

Use Quantcast to get more affinity info on your audience – more than the demographics you get from Google Analytics.

Pick just one next income stream to work on.  Don’t try to do all the things at once.

The Power of Risk Taking – Reducing the Likelihood of Rejection

Carrie Grace – Motivational Speaker

It is not your job to tell yourself no.  It is the job of the person you are making the pitch to.  Give them the opportunity to say yes.

We give up way to easily.  Don’t give up until you’ve received at least 100 no’s.

Does the opportunity you want know you exist?  You can’t wait and expect them to find you.

Note from Christa:  The over-riding theme today for me was this:  We need to value what we offer.  Nobody is just doing favors to have you on their podcast, let you speak at their event, or interview you for their news article.  You are providing something of value to fill the time and space that needs filling.  So stop approaching the pitch from an apologetic, timid posture.  Stand up and be confident in the gifts, talents and skills God has given you!

Friday Blissdom Keynotes and Workshops

Jo Saxton – Author of The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For

The future is too important to be left to chance … to hope we can wing it.

Who were you before anyone told you want you were supposed to be? Were you daring? Were you confident? Were you radical? Before someone told you to make yourself smaller? We lose who we are because of the stories that people have told us about ourselves.

If your body could talk to you, what would it want to say?
We can’t be calling burnout “hustle”.

Who are your people? Do you have a predictable pattern of connecting with the people you say are the closest to you?

Cultivate relationships with professional peers — connections that catalyze your career and allow for critical conversations.  But you have to know each other well enough to feel safe enough to share.

Beyond the Pin:  Tips and Tools for Driving Engagement on Pinterest

Enid Hwang – Culture and Community Manager at Pinterest

Remember what regular pinners do on the platform. They are an open-minded audience actively looking for new ideas. Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social media platform.

The monthly average viewer count is the most accurate measure of your power across the Pinterest platform. It is a rolling 30 day count of people who have viewed content from your claimed accounts (website, Instagram and You Tube).  This is the number you should be quoting in media kits, not your follower count.

Your content is shown to your followers first.  If they engage with it, it will be shown to other people via their Home Feed and Related Pins. This is how the engagement on a pin snowballs.

Prioritize consistency.  Pinning your own content three times a week is better than a flurry of pins on one day then nothing for a week a more.

Stay ahead of the curve – Pinners are planners. Publishing seasonal content about a month in advance is a good rule of thumb.

Videos will grow on Pinterest over time. Get in on this ground floor. There is so much demand for this and it drastically increases engagement. The best videos are actionable and show the viewer how to do or try something new.

Build Your Speaking Career

Grant Baldwin – The Speaker Lab

Speakers are in the problem solving business. The more narrow, specific and clear you are, the easier it is to book gigs.

You have to solve a specific problem for the audience. The audience doesn’t care about what happened to you. They want to know how it impacts them. How is it going to change their world?

The best way to calm your nerves is to practice.

Know when to scale. You can do all the things just not today. Buckle down on one thing and once you get momentum on it, then add something else.

Conversation with Alli Worthington and Hilary Rushford

Don’t wait to start until you have the end in mind.  Just start and let it develop.

Success is built on a combination of expertise, education and empathy.

Sometimes you have to go where you have juice to fund what you really want to do.

Don’t wait until you get to the end of your own knowledge to get help from an expert or coach.

Your brain has more brilliant ideas that you can ever do, so you need the mindset to say no to some.

Saturday Blissdom Keynotes and Workshops

Scott Stratten – Unmarketing.com

There is no “just” in life.  There is no “step, step, done.” It takes work.  And influencers are some of the hardest workers on the planet.  It takes hours to create a 30 second video that looks effortless.

The common denominator in all my failed relationships is me.

The sender of a message encodes it with their own filters.  The receiver decodes it through their own filter.  So it does not always arrive with the same intent it was sent.  Always give the benefit of good intent.  It’s the only thing you can control.

Shoot and Edit Phone Photos for Social Media That Connect to Your Audience

Liza Hippler

Know the difference between brand photos and personal photos.  On your business Instgram, use only brand photos.

Brand photo follow a set of guidelines evoke specific feeling words, have a consistent asthetic and fall into 3 – 5 storylines or categories you want to tell through your Instagram Feed.

Branded personal photos still fit your brand profile, but share more about you, and why someone want to connect with you, compared to the hundreds of other people offering something similar to you.

Brand photos are not working at a café on a laptop. Everyone works at a café on a laptop. If you post photos of you working at a café on a laptop, you are like everyone else.

First rule for shooting – Always use natural light.  Diffused natural light (through a window, clouds, shadow) is best.

First rule for editing – Always white balance first before applying any filters.

Move the Needle: Create A Book Marketing Plan That Actually Works

Caleb Peavy – Creative Production & Digital Marketing at Unmutable

Two-thirds of the process is marketing the book while two-thirds of the time is writing the book.

Don’t mistake activity for productivity. It makes you feel better because you are busy, but activity does not necessarily move the needle.

Things that move the needle:

  • Know your goal for selling your book – A certain number of book sales?  Transformation in your reader?  Growing your platform?  If activity does not help you get to your specific goal, don’t do it.
  • Email is the #1 tool to move the needle, and automated emails based on audience actions (subscribe page, ask for more info, download related to book) are better for sales than broadcast emails to your whole audience. Build a specific content plan for your launch emails and let that drive your social media and other promotions as well.
  • Launch teams – Expect them to purchase the book and do a review. Any social sharing from them is a bonus.

Things that don’t move the needle:

  • Influencer boxes – Send a small gift of appreciation to people who have helped you on your publishing journey, but expensive boxes to influencers you don’t have a relationship with are wasted money.  If you have selected your influencers correctly, your book should stand on its own as high value content for their audience without needing bribery to get them to promote it.
  • Launch parties – Have a party to celebrate your success with your friends and family, but not to sell books, because those people bought your book anyway.  You could have a launch party with added value (a speaker on your topic, experiences with you, etc.) to build the community and buzz around your book.

How to Run Facebook Ads to Build Your Business

Jenny Randle – Marketing director and author of Courageous Creative: A 31 Day Interactive Devotional

There is power in the pixel.  Make sure you have the Facebook pixel installed on your website.  There are several versions of the pixel you can add to track purchasers, subscribers, abandoned carts, etc.

Create separate campaigns for warm and cold audiences.

Avoid ads in the fourth quarter of the year if possible because they will compete with all of the holiday advertising and will be more expensive to run.

Play the “scroll game.” Study what makes you stop scrolling to pay attention. Apply that to your industry and ideal customer.

How to Get What You Want

Alli Worthington Final Keynote

With God and Google, you are unstoppable.

What holds us back isn’t lack of knowledge. It’s our thoughts.  Fear and insecurity try to take us out.

Fight for your dreams. The only way you will fail is if you take your hand off the plow.

What an amazing weekend!  The Blissdom team put on an amazing conference that was equal parts connecting, inspiration and nuts and bolts training.  The sponsors were generous and helpful.  And the attendees were kind and inclusive.  We’ll all be back next year, right???

If you were at Blissdom, I’d love for you to share in the comments about your best takeaways!

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6 thoughts on “What I Learned at Blissdom 2019”

    • It was the 10th Blissdom conference but the first one after a six year break. The whole thing was very well done and full of nuts and bolts details.

  1. Wow! This sounds like a weekend FULL of insightful information! Thank you for sharing what you learned. It’s really valuable to those of us who could not attend!


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