You know how every now and then you have experiences that leave you energized and motivated for days after? When tasks you used to dread now seem excited and manageable because you have a clearer picture of how they can help you rather than drain you? If you haven’t had this feeling in awhile, or know you’re in need of a boost, you need FLOCK Presents on your radar. And lucky for you, I have a way to get you there as a discounted cost!
What is FLOCK Presents?
FLOCK Presents is a new series of micro-conferences, intensives, and workshops on blogging, social media, and brand partnerships. Launching in 2018, they’ve already hosted events at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and San Diego helping creators enhance their Pinterest, social media, and SEO skills.
Last week I attended my first FLOCK Presents conference in Orlando, FL, and I can say for certain it’s not going to be my last. (Completely factual statement, since I’ve already signed up for another at the end of this year!)
Who should attend a FLOCK Presents conference?
I’m doing my best to resist saying that LITERALLY EVERYONE who creates content online should consider attending a FLOCK Presents event. But I do support that statement.
That group in the photo above? In addition to being totally adorable, we go the full range of people who are just getting started with their blog and social media accounts (me) to people for whom it is their full time job (and make quite a successful living doing so). People who still haven’t quite figured out how to share their posts on social media so enough people see it (also me), to those who are invited to Marvel and Star Wars movie premiers.
Throughout the day, each of us gained knowledge, strategy and confidence in the work we are and could be doing. It is a particularly great conference if the thought of a large one overwhelms you, or you prefer learning in an intimate setting where you can connect with the speakers and other participants throughout the day.
Now that you have a general sense of who FLOCK Presents is, let’s talk about the event I went to, who was there, and what I took away from that day.
Beyond the Likes, Retweets, and Filters: What’s Next for Social Media?
Let’s start off with the event description FLOCK Presents provided on their website: Wandering the social media landscape without a plan for where you’re going? Need to level up and take a smarter approach with your accounts? Want your social to be smart, beautiful, authentic, and compliment your online presence? This event is for you!
I cannot rave highly enough about all the speakers who were brought in to be a part of this event. Each one gave broad and specific ways I can start making improvements to my social media strategy immediately. They lit a fire in my enthusiasm to get started. And as they come from different backgrounds, perspectives, and strengths, they show you don’t need to fit into one specific box or follow one specific formula in order to be successful. Without giving too much detail about the content of their presentations, I still want to give you a feel of what you’ll gain from the experience if you attend your own FLOCK Presents event, or have the chance to engage with these women in person or online
Amiyrah Martin, 4 Hats and Frugal – “Wide and Deep: A Live Stream Story”
You know how some people make the work they are doing seem effortless, but you know are always ten steps ahead of everybody else? That is Amiyrah and how she is harnessing the power of live video not only to build her community, but her available content as well. Did you know how easy it is to turn one video into twenty pieces of subsequent content for a number of platforms? I do now! It’s also not a secret to acknowledge how daunting live video can be. But as Amiyrah points out, there is no easier way to establish that you’re an expert on a subject and for people to identify and connect with you as a real person. And that’s what prompts people to seek you out specifically, and keep coming back.
Carly Anderson, Lipgloss and Crayons – “How to Find Your People on Instagram”
No lie – I could write an entire post just based on the insight I gained during Carly’s session. If you’ve ever been browsing Instagram and seen the hashtag #justwearthesuit, she’s the mind and body behind it. If I was going to condense what I gained from listening to Carly to one word, it would be focus. Focus:
- on who your content is serving and what keeps drawing them back;
- your efforts towards the people that support you and who you want to support;
- your time so you are maximizing your social media and life experiences (and equally important – preventing them from overlapping at times where you need to be disconnected).
I’ve already started implementing some of the systems Carly outlined on my own social media channels and WOW. Beyond seeing numeric improvements, having a plan for my social media vs. aimlessly sharing and engaging has had such a positive shift on my mindset and approach. (And y’all can feel free to give me some additional positive reinforcement by hanging out with me over on Instagram or Twitter! /shamelessplug)
Tania Lamb, Lola Lambchops, and Patty Holliday, No Guilt Life – “Standing Out from the Crowd”
Full disclosure: I’ve known Tania and Patty for a long time. But, that’s also how I know they’ve been KILLING IT when it comes to differentiating themselves from others in their blogs and on social media, specifically when it comes to brand partnerships. If you are wondering how to elevate yourself when you’re competing with others for time, eyes, and opportunities, they are the people to watch. And while you always need to be discerning the unique perspective that you can provide better than others, Tania and Patty emphasize you also need to find your way of authentically being a little bit EXTRA.
Jill Krause, Happy Loud Life – “The Long Game”
During my brain dump on the flight home, in all caps next to Jill’s name I wrote TRUTH TELLER. She’s been active in the digital space for a long time; you may know Jill from her other blog Baby Rabies, or from the craze she started with her inappropriate elf pictures that took over the internet. She knows better than anyone while there can be easy ways to inflate your growth, that is not going to give you the community and engagement you’re looking for. Both she and Carly had some horror stories about trying to “reclaim” their communities after they started getting inundated with followers who didn’t reflect the communities they were trying to build.
Also: that whole conversation we were having in my 2019: A Year of Opportunities post about “perfection paralysis?” IT WAS AN ENTIRE SECTION OF HER PRESENTATION. It had it’s own slide and everything. Y’ALL. I’d been feeling excited, energized and motivated from everything I’d heard earlier in the day. But while listening to Jill, I knew in that moment this was exactly where I was meant to be.
Brandi Riley, Mama Knows It All – “Voice and Influence: Building a Supportive Community”
As soon as I saw Brandi’s name for this session, I was all in. I’m a part of her Courage to Earn group on Facebook, where she challenges people to push harder and understand the value of their work and time. Brandi is not one to shy away from encouraging people to take a step back and analyze their own work, particularly if they are not receiving the opportunities they are after. Are you sharing stories the connect you to people rather than simply relaying information? Is the quality of your work where it needs to be and being shared at the right time? Or is the opportunity you are looking for one that you need to be creating? She is a fantastic example of a person who can see the forest through the trees, and with minimal pieces of information is able to point you in the direction that fulfills both you and your community
Is FLOCK Presents worth the cost?
HUGE, RESOUNDING YES. I didn’t just walk away with tips and “hacks” to improve my efficiency and online experience. I walked away with ideas that I want to implement and the sense that they are all not just possible but could be truly successful. Also, they fed me Disney snacks. I mean, come on. Clearly one of you sent them a road map to my heart.
As of this posting, the standard cost for a ticket to one of their conferences is $249. At my event, this price included:
- Breakfast (fruit, pastries, coffee, tea, etc.)
- Six speakers relating to the subject of the event
- Bonus panel from one of the event sponsors (and in our case, someone who had a lot of insight to offer attendees)
- Plated lunch and afternoon snack
- Post-conference happy hour with food and beverages at a nearby location (Splitsville at Disney Springs)
- Discounted hotel room rate for that included several days before and after the event
Most events do offer a reduced rate for early bird tickets and for alumni of previous events. But even more exciting – I have another way for you to get a discount for one of FLOCK Presents upcoming events!
I received a special discount code for my readers offering $25 off your registration!
This code is good for ANY of their upcoming conferences – and spoiler alert, I’ve already signed up for the one that is back at Walt Disney World in October! FLOCK Presents also has events coming up in Nashville, Memphis, Phoenix, San Antionio, Charleston and other areas around the county.
Check out the full list of upcoming events, and enter the code THERESAM when you register to receive your $25 off! And be sure to let me know if you’re joining me in October!
If I was to plan my ideal first conference, it would have come pretty close to what I experienced with FLOCK Presents. Being held at Walt Disney World, it attracted a number of other bloggers that I’ve gotten to know over the years – some I’ve met before, and some who became instant friends. There were about 50 people in attendance, whose blog content and experience is as varied as the colors I dye my hair.
One a personal note, the biggest takeaway for me, aside from being more consistent and strategic about what I post, is that I need to lean into the things that make my perspective unique. Being a visually impaired person is an aspect of my life that most of my peers will (hopefully) never be able to speak to. And the more I speak up about, the more I will be able to connect with those who need to hear my voice to help them find their own. That doesn’t mean every post on this website is going to be about my vision, since I do have other interests and I like to write about them. But it’s going to become more of a catalyst to how and why I write about things.
As Jill said, you don’t have to wait until you’re the best or most knowledgeable to start doing something – you bring value by being the one who is consistently doing it. And that’s what I’m here to do.