Last weekend I boarded a plane from Tampa to Denver to join a lineup of crazy talented creative industry leaders to speak on Finding Your Niche at the Creative at Heart Conference.  Any good conference will fill your head with knowledge but this one never fails to fill my heart as well.  I left with a notebook full of notes that needed to be processed and prioritized but four things stuck out to me that I knew that I would need to change immediately…

I taught about finding your niche at the  creative business conference.

(image credit @creativeatheartconference)

I though you might just be interested in hearing those four things. Am I right?

    1. Heather Crabtree, creator of Savvy Business Owners community, talked about workflow and the six biggest workflow mistakes we tend to make (I was guilty of more then one!) but the one that stuck out to me the most was Mistake #6 which was when you don’t end a project well.  You deliver the service, collect the invoice and it’s “so long!” This should be when we take the time to celebrate with our client, send a thank you, and here’s the big one…ask for feedback and get a testimonial!  This has implications for both the Stockshop and my commercial work but it’s something that needs to change NOW! Thanks Heather!

    2. Wedding photography couple Amy and Jordan Demos showed us how great businesses tell great stories.  I absolutely STINK at storytelling guys! I am just more of a facts kind of girl.  Save the flowery language, I’ll pass. BUT Jordan and Amy were so right in that the best brands create and foster an emotional connection between themselves and their clients and they do it through storytelling.  The big takeaway for me?  It’s not as hard as you (or I) think to be a storyteller.  Jordan and Amy’s advice is to simply try to drop them into a moment of the story instead of stating the facts.  I tried this recently on my personal Instagram feed and have already seen better engagement!  It’s hard for me but I’m trying to stretch my creative writing muscles and give it a try! You can too!
    3. Katelyn James (Sigh, I’m just going to go ahead and call her America’s Sweetheart because seriously, if you have ever met her in person she truly is!) helped us to understand the micro changes that can be made within our businesses that have macro results.  One of my lightbulb moments came toward the end of her talk when she was talking about the power of a simple thank you note.  Some of you may have been Stockshop fans long enough to remember that when I first opened the SC Stockshop back in 2013 I used to send hand written thank you notes at the end of each month to ALL of my customers!  I was able to do that for almost my whole first year of business but eventually there were too many orders monthly for us to keep up with and I had to resort to a more generic “thank you” in the download e-mail. Whomp Whomp. In passing, Katelyn mentioned that people who sell online digital products should find a way to send a personalized digital thank you card to online purchasers after a sale.  LIGHTBULB.  I have really missed the personal touch that the thank you note use to give me with my clients and I am already working on finding a way that I can send a custom personalized thank you card to every single person who makes a purchase in the shop starting soon!

    4. Finally, one of my favorite speakers every year is Natalie Franke, wedding photographer and co-founder of the Rising Tide Society.  A long time ago (ahm.) I was a psychology major in college and so her talk on “The Brain Behind The Business,” the role that neuroscience plays in purchasing behavior and business, just fascinates me! She talked about how the most successful brands find a way to engage all of their clients senses with their client experience. She gave us a fun assignment to try to engage all of the senses to describe our brand! I thought I would give it a try for the Stockshop brand.  I’m sort of embarrassed to even share this here but as an exercise of humility (haha!) here is my attempt:


“You carefully slip into your very first designer dress. The scent of orange blossom, citrus and gardenia fills the room as spritz your favorite scent onto your wrist and take in a deep breath.  When you arrive later that evening a gentleman in a black tie hands you a glass of champagne and motions you down the hallway.  One more deep breath and you enter the room to the sound of applause as all eyes turn toward you.  In that moment you feel like you CAN do this and you DO belong here. Thats what it feels like to dress your brand in SC Stockshop styled stock photography.”

So how did I do? (insert blushing face)  How would YOU engage all of the senses to describe your brand? What does your brand look like? Feel like? Smell like? Taste like? Sound like?

There were so many more takeaways from the Creative at Heart Conference in Denver but these are ones that I am working on right away and I think that they could be helpful for you as well!  Make sure that you check out the Creative at Heart website to find out when and where their next conference will be!