Here are some of the things I learned last week at ALT NYC!
If you were to ask what my overarching lesson was, I would have to say it was to think strategically about your business. I realize that is not rocket science but let me explain why I needed to hear it. When you are working very hard to have an authentic voice online and in your business sometimes using the word “strategy” can feel a bit well, strategic. It can take on a scheme-y feeling. With all the talk of “organic growth” having a serious plan of action, which is the real definition of strategy, didn’t feel like it went hand in hand. What I learned was to get over myself and understand that today’s most creative businesses have a balanced mix of authenticity and strategy.
1) Grace Bonney’s talk on “surviving the internet” was just what I need to hear. She discussed adapting to technology and on how diversity is so essential in today’s online climate. She thinks it is important to follow BIG PICTURE trends and how important it is to have a mission statement so you are able to decide whether or not a new trend fits into your business mission.
2) Kathleen King from Tate’s Bake Shop has such an interesting story of losing her business and then rebuilding it. She said it is so important to have a goal, that you need to go from point A to point B. That owning a business is like driving a car, you wouldn’t get in one and drive without knowing where you were going. She also added, “Really love your business because it will test you.”
3) The panel titled “What the Coolest Brands are Doing with Social Media” was chock full of info. John Januzzi from Lucky Magazine told us to ask ourselves what experience we where giving people and encouraged us to be completely unapologetically ourselves. It was really interesting to see how Warby Parker (Jennifer Rubio is one smart cookie) has involved community to build their brands. They sometimes answer customers questions via You Tube. Strategic and authentic.
It was ll so interesting! I will give you a second installment later this week!!
Photos by Justin Hackworth