What I learned at #BBCChicago

bootcampchicagocityI spend this past weekend in Chicago for Bloggy Boot Camp Brand edition, stepping out of my comfort zone, since I didn’t know anyone else who was going. I hopped on the plane and came home with a bunch of new friends and lots of new ideas. The two days were full of speakers that were inspiring while offering a wealth of practical advice on how to leverage the potential of your brand.

This was my second Bloggy Boot Camp and I loved that this one was so focused. It was all about how to use your blog to build your brand and make money using it concurrent with social media. I was really inspired and feel rejuvenated and focused on where I want to take this little blog.

The amount of relevant information is too long to share here so I have distilled my lessons learned to six that I want to implement or at least start before the end of the year. I am excited to incorporate these elements into the next phase of my strategy. They include:

1. Write an eBook – Not only will this help me get published, but it can provide a good marketing tool for the books that I am writing and plan to write in the future.

2. Get my Google+ and Linkedin profiles up to date – I learned why these are so important and why I need to do a better job of using them to tell my story and establish my brand.

3. Update my “about me” page and links to it – It is natural to focus on the more dynamic areas of the site and this is an area that is often overlooked and undervalued. Expect updates here soon.

4. Make a media kit – That way when PR representatives, companies or publishers come to the site, there is a quick takeaway that gives our critical data.

5. Create a brand targeting list and establish mindshare – While the brand universe is infinite, a brand-specific target list will help narrow the focus and facilitate productive connections with PR/Social media representatives.

6. Reach out locally to find new writing opportunities – This is another strategy that is often overlooked and while we are all taught to think globally, it often starts by acting locally.

These are other key takeaways from this year’s Boot Camp will serve as the basis for the next phase in my blog’s strategy.

navy pier 
I met Jen from @LifeWithLevi, Amy from @GrinCheek2Cheek and Jamie from @ToysintheDryer through twitter and then tagged along with them Friday morning.

View from my room
This was the view from my hotel room.

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